Why doesn't MacPorts handle switching between x11 and quartz better (was: Re: Inkscape 0.92.0 now available on MacPorts)

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at macports.org
Sun Jan 8 13:36:26 CET 2017

> On Jan 8, 2017, at 06:14, Harald Hanche-Olsen <hanche at runbox.no> wrote:
> On a different note, I had assumed, perhaps too naïvely, that this sort of problem is what a package system is supposed to protect against. Since it appearently doesn't, is the underlying problem that the problem is too complex to be handled by a dependency system like macports's? This is the sort of problem that makes the nix package system look more attractive. Though it may also be (a lot?) harder to use.

For MacPorts to be able to handle this situation automatically, the x11 and quartz versions of libraries would need to be separate ports that install files to different locations, rather than as they currently are, which is variants of a single port that always installs files to the same location. Then every port that uses those libraries would have to have x11 and quartz flavors (variants or separate ports) and be told where to find that flavor of the libraries. There's probably some amount of research required for each port to discover how to tell that port's build system to do that. It is a large amount of work that would need to be done across probably hundreds of ports, and nobody has yet volunteered to do that work. Ideally, the work would also include an upgrade path, so that anybody who had installed a port with an x11 or quartz variant would be upgraded to the correct replacement port.

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