macports without XCode

Jamie Paul Griffin jamie at
Thu Nov 8 00:12:12 PST 2012

/ Craig Treleaven wrote on Wed  7.Nov'12 at  9:37:41 -0400 /

> At 2:11 PM +0000 11/7/12, Federico Calboli wrote:
> >On 7 Nov 2012, at 14:06, Jeremy Lavergne <jeremy at> wrote:
> >
> >>> Which packages if I can ask?  because they might be packages
> >>>that I do not want nor need.
> >>
> >> I grepped to find 148 packages using our xcode includes
> >>explicitly (xcode.*1\.0). There may be more that were manually
> >>built without using our PortGroup files.
> >
> >Unless these packages are essential to using macports, and thus
> >unavoidable, 148 packages are a trivial percentage of the packages
> >provided by macports.  Couldn't I just avoid them altogether?
> >
> >>
> >>> How so?  I would have imagined it's the CLT that make the
> >>>difference, after all they mast be installed for macports.
> >>
> >> ...and Xcode must also be installed.
> >>
> >> We do version detection using `xcodebuild -version` (see zlib
> >>for an example). We would need an alternative to this if it's
> >>not installed.
> >
> >That's fine, and as I said I accept the space penalty of having to
> >have Xcode, but I fail to see why the versioning could not be done
> >on clang or llvm (or whatever thing is in the CLT package that
> >could be used for this)
> I believe support is a big issue.  It is hard enough for a port
> maintainer to test with multiple versions of XCode.  Expanding that
> to multiple versions of the command line tools would make it that
> much worse.  Requiring the full XCode install isn't a big burden for
> users.  Things might be different if Apple was charging a
> non-trivial amount of money for XCode.
> Craig

I haven't looked for ages but is the OpenDarwin project still going? I had thoughts once upon-a-time that this project might get going well enough to provide an entire Open Source platform that macports would be a great candidate for being the default package manager on; thus providing a complete OS environment that breaks away from Apple completely. Given the direction it looks like they're going in that would be fantastic. I wonder if something like that would ever happen. I've decided to stay at 10.7.x and not make the change Mountain Lion or beyond, I think someone else mentioned they were doing something similar on this list recently.

But back on topic - I don't feel that having to install Xcode is a major problem really. I mean it's massive and takes an age to download but still. Especially as it would no doubt cause too much work to restructure macports to do without it. 

Even if one wants to build software from source without macports they still require the Xcode installation to do so. It's a good question though but I wouldn't bother giving yourself the headache of trying to work around it by not installing Xcode. 

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