When comparing MacPorts vs CodeKit, the Slant community recommends CodeKit for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” CodeKit is ranked 19th while MacPorts is ranked 42nd. The most important reason people chose CodeKit is:
Everything you need to get a project started is included with CodeKit. Thanks to the professional support, different components of the workflow pipeline are guaranteed to play nicely with each other without you needing to do the research on how to configure them. More advanced features that may require extra configuration to set up with other workflow wrappers are set up out of the box in CodeKit, like automatic browser updating, linting, and source maps.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to use
Detailed instructions on the homepage are easy to follow. Official GUI app is also available
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 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 Nice variants system
MacPorts has a variants system that allows customizing builds with author provided options.
Pro Has many more packages than its competitors
As of this writing, 20K packages. 3 to 5x more than other current package managers.
Pro Requires SUDO to install apps
No need to worry if some rogue app will change your binaries or configuration.
Pro Download libraries instead of relying on Apple's caprices
Considering just how often Apple breaks things, any reduplication of of Apple-supplied libraries with the canonical sources is an asset.
Written in Tcl & C, it's generally significantly faster than the competition. Tcl is also quite readable and comparable to Ruby, so it's also friendly to newcomers.
Pro Supports older Mac operating systems
Homebrew dropped support for old Macs. MacPorts still supports them.
Pro MacPorts is a native application: C + TCL
No need to install Ruby, or any other programming language.
Pro More packages than competition
Pro Apple Silicon Ready
With Apple moving over to its own silicon, macports has been ready for the move to ARM since 2.6.4
Pro Initially started and developed by Apple employees and supported by Apple itself
Reading the story behind MacPorts, it is the only one that was developed by Apple by an Apple employee. In fact it is the same person that was responsible for creating the FreeBSD port system.
Pro Great support for older systems
Pro Most of the available packages work
For example, trying to install Finch using Pkgsrc doesn't work, while installing it using MacPorts works perfectly. Finch isn't even on Homebrew's radar.
Pro Everything is set up for you
Everything you need to get a project started is included with CodeKit. Thanks to the professional support, different components of the workflow pipeline are guaranteed to play nicely with each other without you needing to do the research on how to configure them.
More advanced features that may require extra configuration to set up with other workflow wrappers are set up out of the box in CodeKit, like automatic browser updating, linting, and source maps.
Pro Provides a clean and modern GUI
CodeKit has a clean and intuitive graphical user interface out of the box. Most other tools in this category run as command line utilities or require unsupported third-party plugins to run with a GUI.
The CodeKit GUI makes it easier to navigate and manage the various components of your project with helpful UIs like dropdowns, and views that provide extra details without having to run a separate command.
Pro Live browser updating built in
CodeKit has live updating built in and will update monitored files across multiple browsers and devices, and refresh CSS without a new page load. Other workflow wrappers have live updating, but they require extra configuration. With CodeKit, everything is set up for you so you can get it up and running in no time at all.
Pro Interactively define how files compile with a GUI
You can navigate your project directory, and use a menu form to set up how it gets compiled without needing to read configuration documentation, or deal with configuration errors. On top of that, file watching and recompilation is built in with no extra configuration needed.
Pro Great value for money
At a one time cost of $29, it's a great deal considering how powerful and easy to use it is.
Pro Visual package management with Bower
CodeKit provides a clean GUI for Bower that makes it easier to navigate and get information about modules without having to deal with a command line interface.
Pro Connects with MAMP
You can use it to, for example, live-update server-side PHP by establishing a connection with your local MAMP server.
Pro Don't have to worry about vendor prefixes due to Autoprefixer support
Autoprefixer automagically adds vendor prefixes based on latest information.
Pro Reduces size of compressed images
CodeKit provides a powerful tool to automatically reduce the size of compressed images and production web code.
Pro Live pre-processor and script compilation
Pro Has over 6k componenets
Install 6,000+ Bower components with a single click: Bootstrap, jQuery, Modernizr, Zurb Foundation, even WordPress.
Con New Packages and Updates take time
Macports isn't the first choice for developers producing new packages or binaries for macOS. Nor is it the fastest in getting updates. But in general, it usually is one of the most up to date and will be updated eventually. Some would see this as a con in comparison to Homebrew.
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 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 Requires root permissions (sudo) for installation of packages
A really good security feature, but some see it as a con.
Con Mac only
This is a major problem for larger teams that have varied development environments.
You get only the tools that are provided by the application.