MacPorts project leaving Apple’s OS Forge

Cupertino's project hosting enters the long dark tea-time of the soul

Apple's Mac OS Forge is losing one of its highest-profile non-Apple projects, with the news that MacPorts is moving to GitHub.

MacPorts is a community-run project that aims to take the pain out of running popular open source software on OS X, by making it possible to install projects without having to do battle with configuration and dependency hell.

Announcing the decision on the Mac OS Forge mailing list on Friday, MacPorts manager Ryan Schmidt gives the MacPorts community a “watch this space” message, for when the project's managers decide to make the jump.

Schmidt notes that he's been employed by Mac OS Forge since last year, and that “part of my job was to evaluate whether such services could be a suitable replacement for those offered by Mac OS Forge. We determined that the answer was yes, and that GitHub was the best choice, due to its overwhelming popularity.

“Other Mac OS Forge projects including XQuartz, CUPS and CalendarServer are already in the process of moving to GitHub, and the time has now come for MacPorts to likewise bid a fond farewell to Mac OS Forge and move on.”

While not he's not in a position to articulate any broader Apple strategy, a colleague of his at MacPorts, Joshua Root, wryly notes that “I imagine if all the projects move somewhere else, Mac OS Forge will simply cease to exist.”

Schmidt's post also hints at an axe hovering over Mac OS Forge (our emphasis): “now that we have to leave Mac OS Forge anyway, it makes sense to convert to git and take the opportunity to do some much needed and overdue restructuring and splitting of our repository, and to move to GitHub to make use of their great collaboration features such as pull requests which some of our contributors have been wishing for.

“Hopefully, in addition to the other benefits, moving to GitHub will help us attract and keep new developer talent”, he adds.

The note promises more detail on the transition as it happens. ®

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