When comparing pkgsrc 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 21st while pkgsrc is ranked 62nd. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro pkgin is an apt-like tools for installing binaries from pkgsrc
pkgin aims to be a tool similar to apt/yum for managing pkgsrc binaries by relying on pkg_summary for installing, removing and upgrading packages and dependencies, using a remote repo.
Pro Adapted for use on over a dozen different operating systems
Has been adopted to be used on several Unix-like operating systems and Windows. It's also the default package manager of DragonflyBSD and of the (now discounted) Bluewall Linux distro.
Pro Installs and works in the same way as MacPorts
Installs its own dependencies which means that it is very secure. Cannot install anything unless you use the "sudo" command which is in keeping with the Unix philosophy.
Pro Both binary packages and source build possible
Fast software installation is possible by using binary packages. It's also easy to build from source which allows for different compile-time options (like different UI backends) as well as gaining access to pre-release versions of software in certain cases.
Pro Offering tooling for backporting fixes
Backporting fixes can be done by cherry-picking updates from a newer branch (pkgsrc is released every 3 months) and creating a package. Sometimes bugs need to be fixed for production and there is neither a fix in newer pkgsrc nor the softwares upstream. So pkgsrc has tools like pkgdiff, mkpatches, etc. that help with developing patches and building binary packages from that. A bit of documentation about that process can be found here.
Pro Does not need Xcode command line tools or Xcode.
This means that you can install it fresh on a new installation of MacOS and have all your favorite apps installed right from the start.
Pro Works easily with Ansible
Can be used from within Ansible to install packages on macOS.
Pro Easy installation if you use 3rd party scripts
This one works brilliantly.
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
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 Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
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 Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Con Relatively complicated setup and installation
Installing and setting pkgsrc up is a bit more complicated than in other package managers where it often consists in running a single script.
Con Not so broadly used on MacOS as compared with MacPorts
You do not hear about Pkgsrc as openly as you hear the words "HomeBrew" or "MacPorts".
Con Outdated packages
Some packages are outdated.
Con Can't install some packages
Even building well known packages (except MacPorts) from source using the ports can fail.
Con Project is no longer in development
Development is no longer active on this project as of 2017.
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.
Con Missing features
Unable to perform all tasks of software it was meant to replace.
Can not move windows between 'Spaces' (virtual desktops).
Con Video fail
Demonstration video failed to highlight any of the advantages of the windowing system. Or at least, the advantages were so subtly intrinsic that no-one who didn't already use the system could appreciate them.