odd problem trying to use Macports ...

raf macports at raf.org
Wed Dec 30 23:10:24 UTC 2020

On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 03:57:16PM -0500, Richard Bonomo TDS personal <bonomo at tds.net> wrote:

> Dear Dave,
> Thank you for the advice. I will see if I can implement it.
> As to why people never update their systems:  it is simple:

Sadly, there are several reasons to not update systems.
For example, when Apple removes support for an architecture
that some (non-recompilable) software you need requires.
e.g. ppc, 32-bit intel, and soon 64-bit intel. :-)

Apple seems to think that all software can be
continually updated, and that the programmers that
wrote them never die or get busy with other things, or
that the companies that created them are willing to
continue to update them even if there's no money in it.
Even though they know that they aren't willing to do
that themselves, and they have more resources than
most. :-)

Also, sometimes newer software isn't as functional
(or as fast) as the software it replaces. Or maybe
you don't want to have to pay twice for something.

None of the above applies to macports though.
But sometimes updating macports doesn't work e.g.:

  Error: Error installing new MacPorts base: command execution failed
  Please run `port -v selfupdate` for details.
  Error: /opt/local/bin/port: port selfupdate failed: Error installing new MacPorts base: command execution failed

  (it was "configure: error: no configure found in vendor/tcl/unix")

That was from trying to selfupdate from macports 2.3.4
to 2.6.4 on macosx-10.6.8. But is it important? That
laptop exists to run software that I can't run on my
newer laptop. Stability can be important. I still want
macports software on there, and it would be great if it
could be updated, but it's not the most important
thing, and would require precious time to resolve. I
stopped updating macports on that laptop when (I think)
MacVim started failing to compile. But it's OK. The
version that is there is fine. But I'm glad it's not my
only computer. :-)


> "We" (i.e. "people") need a tool to do a specific, but rare (for us) thing.
> We acquire the tool.
> We do the thing.
> We forget about everything while putting out other life-fires.
> Another thing comes up some years later that requires a variation on the tool
> Obtaining variation fails because years have passed and the system used to acquire such tools have changed.
> We run around getting things to the point where tool variant can be installed and used.
> We do the other thing.
> We forget about everything while putting out other life-fires.
> Cycle repeats at terminum vitae.
> Sic transit gloria Mundi.
> Rich
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dave Horsfall" <dave at horsfall.org>
> To: "macports-users" <macports-users at lists.macports.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2020 2:20:32 PM
> Subject: Re: odd problem trying to use Macports ...
> On Tue, 29 Dec 2020, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
> > Downloading the current MacPorts installer for Sierra from our web site 
> > and running it should hopefully set things right again. This will not 
> > affect your installed ports.
> If I may chuck in my 2c (plus sales tax), every Sunday I run "port -u 
> uninstall", then "port selfupdate" and "port upgrade outdated" on the 
> Monday (that gives me nearly a week for any problems to show up before I 
> do the "uninstall").
> I've always been up to date :-)  And haven't been bitten yet...
> The above is not an official recommendation; it's what I've developed over
> the years, and so could probably be improved and/or corrected.
> -- Dave, wondering why people never update their systems

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