When comparing MacPorts vs aText, the Slant community recommends aText for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” aText is ranked 50th while MacPorts is ranked 54th.
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 MacPorts is a native application: C + TCL
No need to install Ruby, or any other programming language.
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 Has many more packages than its competitors
As of this writing, 20K packages. 3 to 5x more than other current package managers.
Pro No Update
Pro Cheaper than competition
$4.99, cheaper than textExpander ($35)
Pro Compatible with TextExpander snippets
TextExpander snippets can be imported into aText
Pro Works with VMs
Pro Imports from most alternative text expansion apps
aText can import data from TextExpander, TypeIt4Me, SpellCatcherX, Automaton and CSV file.
Pro Has common HTML & JS snippets built-in
Pro Has built-in snippets for common typos
Pro Snippets can include editable fields
Pro Data can be synced through cloud storage services
Pro Snippets can include a wide variety of variables
Possible variables include date, time, other snippets, clipboard content, etc.
Pro A snippet can be expanded to plain or styled text and include pictures
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 Requires root permissions (sudo) for installation of packages
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 Doesn't work in Mojave
Con Frequent crashes in MacOS Sierra
aText crashes frequently, and the developer is unresponsive. Not clear if app is supported or under current development: last update was in 11/15; last post to aText Facebook page 10/15.