[ros-users] progress on ROS on OS X

Mac Mason mac at cs.duke.edu
Tue Aug 2 22:57:09 UTC 2011

On Aug 2, 2011, at 3:18 PM, Ken Conley wrote:
> While quantity of packages is a general metric for choosing a package
> manager, it's not necessarily a criteria here.  The number of
> thirdparty dependencies necessary for integrating ROS with OS X -- at
> least where the current integration stands now -- is not very large.
> Thus, I worry I am encouraging the wrong debate here, as it's not a
> discussion of what is the best package manager for OS X, but what is
> the best mechanism for getting the ROS system dependencies installed.

Ken's point about our (fairly) small number of dependencies is a good one;
MacPorts' N packages don't help us if we can't get the fifteen we need.

My feeling is that source rosdeps (or some variation thereon) is the best
answer. That is, we keep everything completely contained within the ros tree,
and do our own release management within a ROS release. So, Electric gets
_this_ version of log4cxx and _that_ version of yaml, while Fuerte would get
new versions. Everything stays inside your ros directory, and doesn't touch
outside stuff; you can be using your own MacPorts, or Homebrew, or whatever
else, and it won't interact with ROS. In turn, ROS only uses provided-by-Apple
stuff, or stuff installed in stacks; it never touches the the outside package

This gets us the holy grail of determinism: "these instructions _will work_",
which is what we haven't been able to do so far. The overhead of compiling a
few extra packages is a small price to pay.


Julian "Mac" Mason      mac at cs.duke.edu      www.cs.duke.edu/~mac

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