Looking for a clue... where do I start if I want to contribute a patch to a broken port?

Patrick Doyle wpdster at gmail.com
Fri Sep 13 07:05:51 PDT 2013

I feel like I should have the proper skills to contribute a patch for a
broken port, but I am lacking even the first clue as to where to start.

I just tried installing the gcl (GNU Common Lisp) port and it failed.
 Following the instructions on the wiki, I have filed ticket #40468.

Suppose I wanted to contribute a patch to fix this problem myself.  Where
would I start?  Illustrating the amount of my cluelessness:

1) Where would I learn how MacPorts builds packages from a portfile?
2) Do I edit patches & the portfile in place on my /opt filesystem, or can
I build a port from within my own source tree?
3) If you found that a particular port didn't build, what would you do
4) If you found that the port didn't build because of some (possibly
obscure) autoconf problem, what would you do?

Perhaps the first place I could start would be to write up a wiki page
describing how to fix broken ports.  Would that be of use?

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