[ros-users] progress on ROS on OS X

Mark Moll mmoll at rice.edu
Tue Aug 2 14:45:08 UTC 2011

On Aug 2, 2011, at 3:32 AM, Ken Conley wrote:
> I have a strawman proposal, which is multi-pronged:
> 1) migrate all Python* dependencies to use pip + the Apple Python
> interpreter, which will take care of a small percentage of
> dependencies.
> 2) where possible, use MacOS-specific binaries for thirdparty
> libraries (generalization of #1). This may not be possible to fully
> automate.
> 3) where available, use source rosdeps (e.g. eigen) provided by ROS.
> These are generally dependencies that are not yet commonly available
> via a package manager.
> 4) either create new source rosdeps, or utilize something like pkgsrc
> to provide remaining dependencies.
> i.e. the lesson learned from MacPorts is use to as much pure OS X as
> possible, and also do as much integration on top of fixed/known
> targets as possible.  Obviously #2 and #4 require much more thought to
> expand out.

Pretty soon you’ll end up making your own package manager. It’d be nice if existing package managers (MacPorts, Fink, Homebrew, etc.) could satisfy *some* dependencies. I am guessing most people already use a package manager, so you could avoid having to install many packages twice. Source rosdeps like eigen and assimp are also part of MacPorts (and maybe also other package managers). Ones that are not can probably be added without too much hassle by filing a ticket with a package manager’s web site. I am not sure what the problems are with using MacPorts for ROS, but if it’s a matter of control over versions of dependencies you could set up your own ROS-sanctioned ports collection (similar to a PPA on Linux). A ROS user would simply add one line to /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf.

[Disclaimer: I maintain a number of ports for MacPorts.]

Mark Moll

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