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A Wikipedia page is pretty good at showing the precise date when a version of macOS was released.

The corresponding wikipedia page for MacPorts is not quite so helpful, and the MacPorts.org download page does not list any release dates.

How long has it typically taken historically (or for just El Capitan and Sierra) for MacPorts to catch up with the newest macOS.

I got cornered with High Sierra and am trying to determine whether to keep H.S. and use another Mac while waiting, or to wipe it and downgrade to El Capitan or Sierra (and keep my fingers crossed that merely installing High Sierra has not already done irreversible changes to the Time Machine disk I used during install).

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Unclear exactly. You could try searching their GitHub repo for exactly when support was added, but because of the way it's laid out, good luck.

Here's the best info I could get using The Wayback Machine as to when the release first crops up (not necessarily the actual release date):

Prior to this the capture points are too scattered to be useful. Based on how short these numbers are, I suspect that development was done on beta versions. Hopefully it's coming soon.

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    Update for High Sierra. High Sierra was released on Sep 25, 2017, and MacPorts for High Sierra was available on Oct 3, 2017 (or possibly earlier, I'm not sure): 8 days (an upper bound). – Calaf Oct 3 '17 at 10:49

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