Macports needs a little marketing ....

Mojca Miklavec mojca at
Wed Nov 16 16:16:58 CET 2016

On 8 November 2016 at 20:26, Bachsau wrote:
> Am 08.11.2016 um 06:57 schrieb Ryan Schmidt:
>> Also, who decides what is stable?
>> Who decides when to update it?
> Apple. A new stable version should be released for every iteration of macOS.

This would possibly be the lease useful approach.

Before a new macOS release gets published, it is pretty much forbidden
to discuss any problems publicly and the audience is limited to
adventurous developers with payed membership subscriptions. Once a new
OS gets released, a whole lot of problems get discovered and must be
fixed. It can be as fundamental as broken Perl which is a dependency
of a huge number of ports. Some of the problems need to wait until
developers of the broken software are able to install the new OS and
fix the issues. Fixing problems can take days, weeks, months, ... So
who then decides the cut-off date for the new release of MacPorts? And
who will keep backporting new fixes after the release?

For Debian it is an easy cut. They release a new OS version when all
the packages have been tested thoroughly. For macOS it is vice versa.
Apple working for a year or more in full secrecy without letting
anyone (other than perhaps a few apple insiders who happen to be port
maintainers) to do any testing at all.

Realistically we could perhaps only release a "stable" version for
10.11 short before 10.12 gets released, but I don't see any added
value of that.

And then you have cases like certain ports that need to be upgraded,
but the new version is known not to work with another port (VLC
doesn't work with ffmpeg version 3 for example and upstream is not
eager to do any progress any time soon, on the other hand other
software would not work with version 2; some software doesn't work
with wxWidgets 3 etc. and the situation is not likely to improve any
time soon). Fixing everything is nearly impossible.

The only thing that could be done would be a slight delay between
master and "stable". For example everything that's in master would go
to "quasi-stable" after a week unless some problems are discovered
(and then the port would be held back). But this requires extra
manpower again. Something we lack already.


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