Port commit questions regarding python versions and philosophy for splitting ports

Daniel J. Luke dluke at geeklair.net
Thu Oct 28 07:41:04 PDT 2010

On Oct 28, 2010, at 9:17 AM, Michelle Gill wrote:
> * When building python packages (or any package where there are multiple versions maintained), does one have to build to support all versions? I only have python 2.6 on my system right now. Would I need to install python 2.5 (and 2.7, etc.) so I can build a port for multiple versions of python? Is support for other python versions handled in a way that doesn't involve the submission of packages for each python version?

You don't have to build Portfiles for each version in the sense that you're volunteering and so whatever you want to to do help out is welcome.

If you want to support multiple python versions, though, you will need to create Portfiles for each version.

Fortunately, you can have multiple versions of macports python installed at once and most python packages are pretty easy to set up portfiles for.

> * What is the philosophy regarding the incorporation of small accessory packages (say as variants) into an existing packge vs creating a separate build? I have built the DerApproximator accessory package for py26-openopt and am unsure if it should be consolidated with the existing OpenOpt package or if I should submit a new package. My sense is that variants are for compile time flags and that I should submit DerApproximator as a separate package.

As a maintainer, it's up to you to determine what method is more appropriate.

Things to keep in mind are:

- If it's a variant, you can only choose to install/uninstall it when installing the big package (if you install the port without the variant, and decide you want it - you have to build the port again).
- If it's a variant, other ports can't list it as a dependency.

The tradeoff is that it's often slightly easier to implement as a variant, and if it's distributed in the same tarball from upstream, you only have to update one portfile if it's a variant.

Daniel J. Luke                                                                   
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