On 16 Mar 2012, at 3:13 PM, Greg Stein wrote:

Automake is one of the worst pieces of code I've ever had the misfortune to use. I have a litany against it, that I don't want to type on my tablet right now :-P

Create a dist.sh script for creating distributions. That will get the repeatability up. Or something like Subversion's release.py:

But automake is absolutely not the answer.

I believe that rolling our own tool is an answer orders of magnitude worse.

Over and over again, in the java world, I encounter people who have tried to reinvent the maven-release-plugin, and every time without fail I discover these people have created a broken script that works for them and nobody else.

The scariest part of being an RM is waiting for the inevitable "you missed that step half way down page seven and you broke it" message that inevitably follows the attempt. In the maven world, release means "run 'mvn release:prepare release:perform', you're done". In our world, release means "pick through the svn history to try and replicate the steps someone else did, good luck", and it's the "luck" part I want to see removed.

What I am suggesting is that we use automake, not extend it or peer into its implementation. Or use an alternative tool that is well supported and does the same thing (if so, what?).