Force Macports to use XQuartz as X11 dependency

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Mon Aug 30 17:04:40 PDT 2010

On Aug 30, 2010, at 16:08, Jeff Singleton wrote:

> If you took offense to my use of the work "lazy" ... then it is of my
> humble opinion that you are OK with status quo ... thus you are lazy.
> Leaving things the way they are in order to support older hardware
> just isn't justifiable anymore.

On the contrary, we didn't leave things the way they were. "The way they were" was that we were using the X11 that was part of Mac OS X, and this was causing a great many problems during the transition from Tiger (whose X11 was based on XFree86) to Leopard (whose X11 was based on Xorg). Jeremy Huddleston expended a great amount of time and energy in getting the current version of Xorg into MacPorts and working properly, for which we thank him immensely. For awhile, we offered users the option of selecting the system's X11 instead of the MacPorts version (via the "system_x11" variant), but this just led to the same problems again, so this option was removed. We have now for some time been in a situation of correctly-functioning X11 software within MacPorts, a situation I am elated by. So I am not particularly interested in entertaining ideas of changing it again, at the risk of breaking things again for everybody, just because you don't want to wait a few hours to build some ports.

Apple has historically been very slow about updating software included with Mac OS X; often newer versions are available that add features or fix bugs, and we like to be able to make those new features and bug fixes available in MacPorts; we could not do so if we relied on Apple-provided software. We also don't want an Apple software update to suddenly break things for MacPorts users. (The XFree86-to-Xorg transition may be over, but who knows what other surprises Apple's engineers might spring on us in the future.) So for these reasons, as has already been mentioned, and not just for X11 but for most software, we like using our own versions, so that we are in control of when updates are done.

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