running macports along with homebrew

Ken Cunningham ken.cunningham.webuse at
Tue Feb 13 18:52:20 UTC 2018

On 2018-02-13, at 6:40 AM, db wrote:

> On 13 Feb 2018, at 07:01, Ken Cunningham <ken.cunningham.webuse at> wrote:
>> If there is anything worth having in MacPorts that is in Homebrew but not MacPorts, just ask for it.
> I'm trying homebrew as a fallback for MacPorts, but since you said anything, here's a wish list: cask, building from HEAD, LinuxPorts (analog to Linuxbrew), and specific ports: vagrant and ELK stack for starters. Just daydreaming…

1. cask:

As you know MacPorts does install prebuilt binaries for almost all the software it offers, if allowed by license. That is basically the "cask" concept except it covers most systems and software all the way from 10.5PPC to current, which is much more than homebrew covers. 

So I presume you're talking about installing software available only by downloading a prebuilt pkg or dmg from the provider's website.

This is quite easy to do with the current port software. I have done several of these, especially when a version of MacPorts' software works on an older system, but it can't be built on that system due to SDK issues, etc. You just download the archive file as a distfile, mount the dmg or decompress the archive, and then move the binary into place. 

I think nobody finds this in general to be all that magical or useful though, and so nobody bothers to spend any time on building these sorts of Portfiles. 

You want Adobe Air? Just go to the website and install it. You usually have to go there anyway. But if you see a role for more command line installs, I can certainly show you how to make them up, or point you to a few examples so you can make up your own as well.

2. HEAD variants.

This is a specific MacPorts decision, based on the "reproducible builds" philosophy. It's open for debate at times, I would think.  It's easy to do it, but we just don't do it on purpose.

I have overridden this and allowed a +HEAD variant on one occasion at the request of a heavy user of the software (see the widelands Portfile).

Anyone with a passing level of MacPorts knowledge can bump a Portfile to the latest commit on their own in a few seconds, esp if it uses the github Portgroup. I do this all the time.

This could be added quite easily if MacPorts wanted to do it -- a small change in the github portgroup would likely suffice to add a +HEAD variant to all github ports. 

But it is specifically not done on purpose, at present.

3. LinuxPorts

I think Rene has this working (@RJVB). Haven't tried it, though. I bought a couple of linux machines for this reason, but just ran out of time to play with them.

4. Vagrant and ELK

I can take a look at these. 

If the installation is to simply download a DMG and run the installer or copy it over, there's not a lot of excitement in that. If the software requires building and configuring to work with other supporting libraries and software, then that is where MacPorts really shines. Software like Jeremy's XQuartz is a good example.



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