Force Macports to use XQuartz as X11 dependency

Jeremy Huddleston jeremyhu at
Mon Aug 30 17:10:28 PDT 2010

On Aug 30, 2010, at 14:08, Jeff Singleton wrote:

> And I submit that using a phrase such as "consistent support for older
> machines and not violating /usr/X11" is lazy and resource wasting
> rubbish.  If XQuartz already has at least some of the dependencies
> required ... it is a waste to have to build them anyway, instead of
> having Macports at least look for and honor dependencies that already
> exist and provide the necessary pieces.

Well, just because they are there does not mean they meet the version requirement, nor does it mean that that version is correct.  It may be the case the your package requires version 1.2 of some library because it stresses some problem area that 1.2 fixed but 1.1 is what is available in /usr/X11 ... or what about the case where you're building on Tiger whose /usr/X11R6 is ancient cruft and half of MacPorts X11 packages wouldn't even build against properly because they predated the autoconf-ification of X11.

> 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.

It has nothing to do with hardware.  It has to do with consistency, reliability, and maintenance.  We don't have the resources to support the build configurations of mixing and matching between /usr/X11, /opt/X11, /usr/local, /sw, etc...  It's not worth it.

> As far as what I do and what I don't do  .... well ... I'm a
> power-user.  So I do what I can and leave the other stuff alone.   I
> never stated I could fix it .. I just stated I believe it needs to be
> fixed.

It was broken when MP used /usr/X11R6 for X11 libraries.  It is now fixed.

On Aug 30, 2010, at 12:27, Jeff Singleton wrote:

> So there is no way to avoid building the truckload of X dependencies
> needed for a single application...followed by cleaning up all of those
> dependencies because I only needed them to build one thing.

What do you mean "cleaning up all of those dependencies" ?  I hope you're not deleting xorg-libX11 and expecting your application to run.

> To me .. that just doesn't sound like consistent support for older
> machines ... it sounds lazy.
> Why should people with faster machines have to continually suffer lost
> time in building dependencies that are only needed temporarily

Aside from autoconf, automake, glibtool, and pkg-config, they aren't needed temporarily.  Also, aside from the server, there isn't much churn in most of the X11 packages, so they don't get rebuilt often.

> or
> could be provided by the XQuartz package?  

XQuartz is not available for every version of OSX.  Indeed, MacPorts is what I recommend to people who want the latest version of X11 on Tiger!  Nor does the existence of XQuartz on the user's system guarantee that it is the version we want.

> I can understand building
> dependencies that are not included in the XQuartz package, but
> building all of them just because its more compatible with older
> hardware that I will never use...
> Just doesn't make sense to me ... If I had a dual quad-core 32gig Mac
> Pro, I probably wouldn't care.

More information about the macports-users mailing list