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Why doesn't Mac OSX have something like Synaptics built in to allow easy installation of third party applications? Ports seems to be a bit of a mess and doesn't always seem to work

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What doesn't work? I've rarely had problems with it (outside of dealing with a perl install). –  skarface Jan 30 '10 at 19:29
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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Maybe something like Porticus might help?

Porticus

Feel free to post specific port-related questions as we seem to have a few MacPorts members here. Otherwise the MacPorts mailing lists are also very useful. One major difference between Synaptic and MacPorts is that MacPorts is only source-based, with no binary packages by default.

Hope this helps!

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Amazing, I never knew about this! Thanks –  Zubair Jan 30 '10 at 18:35
    
Great. I'm assuming that you have been able to successfully install the MacPorts base system at least? Otherwise Porticus is not going to solve your "bit of a mess" as you stated in your question. –  fideli Jan 30 '10 at 18:42
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I installed MacPorts, but got a cryptic error message when trying to install erlang from the GUI. In the end I just did "port install erlang" from the command line and it worked. –  Zubair Feb 3 '10 at 20:24
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Ports isn't exactly part of of OS X, but already a 3rd party software you install.

As for front-ends, in addition to Porticus you could also check out Pallet, though the last time I tried it it seemed rather unstable.

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Ack, please don't link to darwinports.com. –  fideli Feb 17 '10 at 6:01
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