the Fink project is an effort to port
popular Unix programs to Mac OS X
Fink is widely recommended as the simplest way for users to install and maintain their favourite unix programs on Mac OS X. It features a binary distribution for quick and easy installation, as well as a source distribution for users preferring more flexibility. In addition to command-line tools for handling packages, FinkCommander provides a GUI.
Fink is not compliant with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, as it stores all its data in a hierarchy rooted at its own directory, "/sw" by default, rather than as part of the base system or under "/usr/local". This makes it very easy to remove a Fink installation by simply deleting that directory. Installing under its own hierachy is a conscious choice the developers made, the reasons have been discussed numerous times on the mailing lists.
The name "Fink" is German for finch, and is related to the Darwin operating system (that lies at the core of Mac OS X), through Charles Darwin's study of diversity among finches. The Fink project was started in December, 2000 by German hacker Christoph Pfisterer who goes by the handle "chrisp." He left the project in November 2001 on a bitter note, frustrated by the free rider problem in the context of open source software. Recently 2006 Fink has worked on becoming a legal not-for-profit organisation named Fink Developer Network that will help govern the further development of Fink.