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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: autoconf
Date Fri, 27 Jun 1997 22:03:24 GMT
Dean Gaudet wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jun 1997, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> > +1 on using autoconf for 2.0.
> I'd really like to re-open the autoconf can of worms and find out why
> there is a dislike of it.  I've only had successes with it when I use it,
> my program worked on platforms I hadn't seen without any changes.  I just
> followed the autoconf docs and used every macro they suggested.  So you
> can count me as +1 for autoconf. 

I'll restate my objections to autoconf:

1. What we've got mostly works (this is a new objection ;-)

2. Changing what autoconf does requires an understanding of the gadget that
generates the scripts, whereas changing what we do only requires understanding
shell and .h - far more common skills.

3. Failing 2, it is next to impossible to fix autoconf scripts when broken.

4. On minority OSes, autoconf scripts are often severely broken.



Ben Laurie                Phone: +44 (181) 994 6435  Email:
Freelance Consultant and  Fax:   +44 (181) 994 6472
Technical Director        URL:
A.L. Digital Ltd,         Apache Group member (
London, England.          Apache-SSL author

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