WebKit2-GTK: quartz VS XQuartz

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at macports.org
Tue Apr 5 21:52:42 PDT 2016

On Apr 5, 2016, at 12:31 PM, Andrea Giammarchi wrote:
> After all attempts, I've got a `no display found` and I've remembered I had to install `xorg-xinit` which reminds me I need also to start `xorg-server` to use MacPorts `X11`, and also I have to manually log-out/in after.

The notes of the xinit port explain this:

$ port notes xinit
xinit has the following notes:
  To use MacPorts' X11 as the default server, install xorg-server, log out, and log back in.

These notes are also displayed when you install the port.

When installing multiple ports at once, notes from individual ports can get lost amongst other output. To address this, the next version of MacPorts, 2.4, will save all ports' notes and print them all at the end, rather than interspersed with other MacPorts output.

> I'm not sure what kind of packages managers you use daily, but having to investigate why things installed won't start isn't really the best experience + discovering missing steps instead of having these in by default is also usually not the way I'm used to ( pacman, apt-get, npm, gem, yum/dnf, brew )

Obviously we want things to work too. If they don't, perhaps those are bugs that we can fix.

> The reason here seems to be that quartz is not the default fallback but XQuartz is not a dependency: is that meant? if so, why is that? or better, are there other possible port backends that is worth making it somehow troublesome to `sudo port install gtk3` and have it working?
> I personally don't find this approach that user friendly, specially on a platform famous for "it just works" (I know it's not always the case but ...) which breaks in a few points when it comes to GTK3 development, regardless all the valuable amount of effort everyone is putting in the community to make things work.
> I'd like to thank upfront whoever is willing to improve the current status, with the possibly non-optimal but surely less rich of surprises quartz backend, and maybe with a warning that best results are obtained with XQuartz, or maybe making it installed by default when no other display is available (at least a question?)

Best results are obtained with X11, yes, but it is not required that you use the XQuartz distribution of X11. And yes, it is intentional that the MacPorts X11 server is not installed, because to use an X11 application it is not required for you to use the MacPorts X11 server. You could just as well use the X11 server that comes with certain older versions of OS X, or the X11 server that comes with the XQuartz package, or perhaps even an X11 server running on another computer. It's probably not within the scope of MacPorts to determine whether you are already using one of those other X11 server distributions. We do need to improve our Guide and other documentation, which still refer to using the X11 server that comes with OS X, even though X11 no longer comes with current versions of OS X.

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