Archive for August, 2010

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Homebrew package manager for Mac OS

August 15, 2010

Homebrew is a new package manager for mac OS rivalling Fink and Macports.  Based on Git it is extensible and flexible. Critically it focuses on minimising the massive duplication of libraries typically observed within Fink and Macports.

Conceptually the idea is great, however, it is immature when compared with Fink or Macports. Primarily this is due to the limited number of packages available. However, I do want to point out that sometimes it is necessary to have different versions of software to the system default.

An example is gcc. While it is a pain to install (it takes a LOOONG time to compile) I need 4.3 for some software. Snow Leopard comes with 4.2. And another similar issue with open-mpi.

Package duplication is a problem, however, sometimes there is no way to avoid it. Minimization is the key and I think Homebrew has gone one step to far. With a little more sophistication it may work very well.