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Why you should build with Homebrew instead of Macports

Posted: 13 Oct 2011, 12:08
by Misty
Sorry to start up a holy war here, but since I've seen several people having trouble with Macports it looked like this could use some evangelizing.

So here's the pitch: for book scanning software on a Mac, you should probably be using Homebrew instead of Macports. Here's why:
  • Homebrew is fast and light
    Macports installs its own tool ecosystem; Homebrew integrates with the tools that come with your Mac.
    As a case study, look at the build process for Scan Tailor on Macports, then look at it on Homebrew. A first-time Scan Tailor build in Macports installs dozens of packages and takes hours to build. Those packages are just dependencies - if you're not a software developer, you don't care that they're around except that they make Scan Tailor work.

    Homebrew installs 5 dependencies and, if you're on Lion, is ready to go in about 10 minutes.
  • Customizing Homebrew is easy
    Homebrew encourages you to customize your installation and makes it easy to add new software or customize software that's already in it. And if you want to share them with others, it makes it easy to submit your changes.
  • I use Homebrew
    This is a little narcissistic. ;) But my point is that I scan stuff, I use Homebrew, and I submit tools to Homebrew. So I help make sure the tools you need to scan books are in Homebrew. I know of at least one useful book-scanning tool that is missing from Macports, and that list will probably grow.
Basically, Homebrew can help make your scanning life easier. Give it a try! Here's the website: