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

Harald Hanche-Olsen hanche at runbox.no
Sun Jan 8 17:50:52 CET 2017

From: Ryan Schmidt (mailto:ryandesign at macports.org)
Date: 8 January 2017 at 14:37:06

> > On Jan 8, 2017, at 06:14, Harald Hanche-Olsen 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. […]
> For MacPorts to be able to handle this situation automatically, the x11 and quartz versions of libraries would need to be separate ports[…] 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. […]

I completely understand why this is not happening. But a lesser goal would be in the category “I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't do that.” IOTW, when the dependencies of packages are in conflict, it is better to get an error message than an apparently successful build that doesn't work. This does happen with conflicting direct dependencies, does it not? If package A needs gtk2 +quartz and package B needs gtk2 +x11, you will not be able to install both A and B at the same time? (At least not without encountering numerous warnings and using -f to get past them.) But when these dependencies are indirect, life gets complicated, and the conflict hard or impossible to detect. (Though I am still not sure I quite understand why.)

– Harald

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