New Port Options

Baptiste Daroussin bapt at
Sat Oct 6 08:13:46 UTC 2012

On Fri, Oct 05, 2012 at 10:01:45PM -0700, Doug Hardie wrote:
> I just converted a port over to the new options structure and have a few observations.  I have not been involved in any of the discussions about the structure as I didn't have the time to get involved.  However, a couple things came to mind during the process:
> 1.  The Port handbook is actually quite good in the information it provides.  However, it does presume that you know a few things about the port structure that are probably common knowledge to anyone involved with it, but not to those of us who just "use" it.  The first update I made to the Makefile cause a slew of make errors that were pretty much useless.  They meant nothing to me.  My first thought was that somehow I had munged one of the includes and managed to include some random file rather than the right one.
> My second idea was that I had typed the option names wrong, but that didn't seem to fit with the error messages either.  After quite a while of reading the handbook, I noticed that in the PORT_OPTIONS clause you have to precede the option name with a M.  That is not at all obvious and is easily missed. Why an M is also baffling.  I am sure there is a reason other then it just won't work otherwise.
The M is because of make(1) syntax
> 2.  The syntax for a conditional expression for an option that is selected is completely different from that for an option that is not selected.  That is just weird.  The use of {} for one and () for the other again must have some reason other than it just won't work otherwise.  No clue is given in the handbook.
My first proposition for syntax was:


Lots of people stated they prefered the concise version:

the reverse of this one can be:


instead of empty() if you prefer some maintainers uses it.
> 3.  The examples are a bit difficult to distinguish between {} and ().  I had to look quite a few times before I figured that out.
> 4.  The handbook shows for submitting a change to a port the use of a regular diff.  My recollection is that the last time a unified diff was requested so that things like the file names show.
> I only maintain one port so the effort to make the changes would have been quite minor for additional ports.  Its really not that big a change from the maintainer's point of view._______________________________________________
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