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I was wondering "why doesn't Apple have a native package manager", so I asked the question: Do open source licenses restrict Apple's ability to provide a native package manager?. But the question was closed as "not constructive".

I have rephrased the question, but it is not clear what else I can do to improve the question. What changes can I make to the question that would make it more suitable for this site?

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  • Thanks for bringing the discussion here. I'll clean up the comments on the linked question and reinforce the one thing I'd want to see before casting a re-open vote: "What next?" This question has a concrete goal and asks for expertise in solving a problem. In current form (even with the improved edits and title), yours seems to invite speculation on Apple's process or philosophy and not something site members can answer. – bmike Mar 19 '13 at 21:21
  • @bmike thanks for your help. I have started asking applied questions individually ... e.g. apple.stackexchange.com/questions/86233/… (which I answered myself) and apple.stackexchange.com/questions/86324/… (which I don't know the answer to) Regarding the original question - I could just change it to "how to install MySQL" -- or ask that separately. In general, is my approach on-target? – Abe Mar 21 '13 at 19:16
  • Yes - by being more specific, it helps everyone know what precisely is on the table for consideration. I was going to say, Apple has thousands of lines of open source code delivered as part of iOS and OS X, so unless you were going to address and justify what makes a package manager's license so much more onerous than ssl, BSD and the rest of Darwin - focusing on a broad "OSL" is toxic seems like a problem with the original question. – bmike Mar 21 '13 at 20:49
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On first glance you can probably do nothing to give this question a chance. Why, you ask, well:

  • this site focuses on providing specific answers on specific questions. Any question about package managers has kind of a theoretical touch so any answer might be right
  • whatever is discussed around this topic will have zero influence neither on Apple nor on anything else
  • in a way there are already some package managers available (homebrew, macports), so the question is answered by real implementations
  • OS X is not Linux or BSD, the Mac App Store solves the problem quite nicely for most people

What you should maybe ask yourself first is which specific problems a package manager does solve, how (if at all) they are already solved currently in OS X space and what (if anything) is left unsolved for most users or at least for yourself. This may lead to an answerable question at the end.

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  • thanks for the feedback, but I think I answered some of your questions in the OP, for example the problem that apt-get solves is that it installs programs with little further configuration required. By contrast, brew installed MySQL but did not put it on the default system path. I want to be able to modify a build script for OSX, an minimize such extra steps as much as possible. – Abe Mar 19 '13 at 21:20
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    In this case it might be better to ask exactly what you need to know/do (or to contribute to brew directly to add this ability). A question about the impact of OSS licenses on Apple product abilities is too broad to help you here. – nohillside Mar 20 '13 at 5:46

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