When comparing MacPorts vs Slate, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” Slate is ranked 24th while MacPorts is ranked 52nd. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Provides a consistent experience across OS X versions
MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own making sure that the experience is the same regardless of what OS X version is used.
Pro Nice variants system
MacPorts has a variants system that allows customizing builds with author provided options.
Pro Generally very up to date
MacPorts generally gets new software soon after it's available. This way users will not have to worry if their software is up to date.
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
Con Downloads unneeded libraries duplicating functionality already provided by Apple's libraries
As MacPorts eschews Apple-supplied libraries and links sources against its own a large duplication of functionality across MacPorts and Apple libraries can be found.
Con Bad at limiting dependencies
MacPorts has a habit of pulling very specific versions of dependencies for each package. It downloads different version of already existing dependencies even in cases where the existing dependency version would have worked seamlessly.
Con Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.