Upgrading MacPorts for Snow Leopard

2010-02-01 20:13:12 by chort

I've been a long-time user of MacPorts, from back when it was Darwin Ports and I was still using a PowerBook, in fact.

The "upgrade" for Snow Leopard is making me seriously think about looking for alternatives. Originally their site said it might be possible to use the usual selfupdate method, or to be safe do a total uninstall/reinstall. As I've been using it for years and have piles of software installed through MacPorts I didn't exactly want to blow that all away and start over, so I tried the selfupdate method.

It "mostly" worked, with several broken packages that I forced a rebuild on. Today I found one I couldn't work around: PERL. I found bug reports for it on the MacPorts site and their solution was great: rm -rf and start over. Well, that's fun! Couldn't be bothered to roll a PERL rebuild into the update script, huh?

I dutifully generated a list of all my installed packages, backed up all the existing files to an external drive, and did the rm -rf plunge...

I executed the MacPorts install, which took a couple of minutes. Next I started installing my list of previous packages. It has been 4 hours now and I'm not even close to half way through. Most of it has been spent building all those asinine Gnome dependencies.

I have also discovered that some of my favorite variants of packages have been dropped, in particular the HPN variant of OpenSSH that gave me such a huge throughput boost when transferring files over SCP/SFTP.

This is why people are still using IE6: Upgrades suck. If developers want users to adopt new versions of their software, they should spend some time working on the upgrade experience before releasing stuff. It seems like all developers ever care about is cramming in new features. Usability and documentation are generally total after-thoughts, if even thought of at all.

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