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From Robert Newson <>
Subject Re: windows support, cross compilation, and build reuqirements
Date Thu, 13 Dec 2012 10:04:42 GMT
I've always been told that the autotools stuff is doing important
things that we'd miss if we removed it. At the time, I just assumed
this was true. At Cloudant, we don't use autotools (just rebar and a
hand-written Makefile to drive it) and seem to be no worse off, but of
course we target a smaller range of platforms than CouchDB does. I'll
let others (Noah, Paul) chime in with the reasons to stick with

On 13 December 2012 09:32, Dave Cottlehuber <> wrote:
> On 13 December 2012 09:25, Benoit Chesneau <> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> As you know I am working on porting some part of rcouch to couchdb to make
>> it more otpish and such.
>> Part of it requires to play with the build chain of couchdb and I'm trying
>> to list all the requirements and answers to the following questions. I also
>> would like to work on a one **reproducible* and **automated** way to build
>> couchdb on different platforms without requiring manual patching and such.
> For me, this is rebar. All the Windows-specific patches are now in rebar-2.*
> and it should "just work". This would enable a normal/sane person to build
> CouchDB on Windows with a minimum of pain, and a reliable result.
>> - Why do we need autotools? Part of the story is related to this "VPATH"
>> thing, but I am still waiting for a clear explanation not convoluted in
>> details or related to a man. Ie. what are the usescases in human words. How
>> it is used today. by who. Other is related to the dependencies check but
>> seeing how many people are using rcouch and build-couchdb I have some
>> doubts about the usefulness of that. Also autotools are really only useful
>> on linux.
> I agree; at least for Windows, using autotools forces us using cygwin which
> makes the build fragile, and painfully slow. To be clear, that's not autotools
> per se, but how cygwin or mingw are implemented on Windows. You get non-native
> performance as a result of a very clever compatibility shim.
>> - windows toolchain: so far i have these wikis and posts:
>> also glazier doc :
> Huh. All that cruft from just one person. Somebody should tidy that up.
> All of our components (snappy, jiffy/ejson, icu) can be built directly
> in Windows without needing cygwin etc, except for Spidermonkey where we
> do need the mozilla toolchain. But at least it's very clean to install.
> What do I envision for Couch* in future on Windows for building?
> Pre-requisites:
> - Msys Git if you want to build from source / checkout
> - Erlang/OTP, static linked with OpenSSL
> - Windows Compiler (MS SDK 7.1)
> - MozillaBuild for Spidermonkey
> - a packaging tool (for .exe, MSI)
> - rebar driven setup
> The simplified approach is under way here, although it still
> has to be able to build Erlang/OTP from source at the moment.
> I am pretty sure that once I've re-tested this, I can shoehorn it all
> into CouchDB proper, and dispense with the separate script approach. I'll
> do this on your OTP branch if that's OK. It seems like the right place.
> Or I can branch the branch and keep it separate as you like.
>> While I really appreciate all the efforts around it looks rather hackish
>> for now and I would like to help to make it more generic and easy to use
>> for others. So what are the requirements, quirks and problems found for
>> now? (I'm not speaking about couchdb issues). Can we have a clear list
>> about that ?
>> - osx build wit the desktop addition: how it is sorted to be
>> build automatically  What arre the requirements & co?
>> - others ? I know that some people worked in embedding couchdb on other
>> platforms. Having a list of the patches they use, why they aren't in the
>> project upstream and other details would be cool. For ex having the full
>> story of iErl4 and couchbae-android-framework of couchbase would
>> be interesting. But there are others around. I will also do my part on that.
>> VoilĂ . Improving the toolchain of couchdb would be a really nice goal for
>> 1.4 and I hope we can achieve this in time.
> Ditto!
> A+
> Dave

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