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From "Mattmann, Chris A (388J)" <>
Subject RE: [lucy-dev] Slow migration to Makefiles
Date Tue, 16 Nov 2010 20:31:44 GMT
Hmm, my 2 cents is that it's infinitely simpler to understand a build.xml file (or better yet
a Maven pom.xml :) -- just my opinion people no tomatoes!) than it is to understand makefiles,
or better yet, programs that generate makefiles on the fly, or that generate other build scripts
on the fly etc etc. 

Ant is available on nearly every Linux distribution that I've come across in recent years
(installed into /usr/bin/ant or some variant). 

That said, these are just my preferences (as are Marvin's for Make/programs that generate
makes and so forth :) ). What do others think? The key question to ask yourselves is: 

1. will Marvin be the *only* RM that this project ever sees?
2. will Marvin be the *only* person building this project, ever?
3. of the 2-3 existing Lucy developers, what are the preferences? I know Marvin's: what about
4. of the 1 new Lucy committers as part of Apache Lucy in the Incubator (e.g., Simon?)
5. are the mentors ever going to build and use this system? Or scarier yet, maintain it? My
answer on that is that at some point I'd like to build it myself and understand it, but sophisticated
Makefiles are not my cup of tea.

The community right now is small so it will be very driven by whomever picks up the shovel
and starts to dig the hole, but it would be nice if the tool used to dig that hole is something
that not only Marvin can wield...

From: Marvin Humphrey []
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:16 PM
Subject: [lucy-dev] Slow migration to Makefiles

On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 09:39:20AM -0800, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) wrote:

> > Over time, we should expect to migrate a lot of the build structure to
> > Makefiles.  I hate make, but it's the lowest common denominator.
> Is that strictly true? I mean, the reality is whatever you could do in make,
> could be done in e.g., Ant, right?

Sure -- but we could also do everything in Perl/Ruby/Python/etc.  The primary
advantage that Make has over Ant and all of those is that it's already there
on every system.

The point of migrating to Makefiles would be to share build routines across
host bindings.  Building Lucy for C or Python shouldn't require Perl, or Java,
or whatever.  For now, we have to put up with a Perl dependency, but I would
like to eliminate that, at least for simple building of the library as a user
would.  (Developers will continue to have to deal with the Perl dependency,
but after I rewrite Clownfish::Parser to be based on the Lemon parser
generator rather than Parse::RecDescent, they'll only need core Perl.)

We don't want to depend on Make exclusively for the build IMO -- the
contortions necessary for cross-platform compatibility when solving complex
problems aren't worth it.  Instead, I think we should keep the Makefiles
simple, but use scripts to generate input for them.  Probably such dev helper
scripts will continue to be written in Perl, like the I
just added last week.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect Simon or Robert to fully grok a
sophisticated Module::Build subclass like trunk/perl/buildlib/Lucy/
However, I do think that it's reasonable to expect Lucy committers to
understand shared Makefiles, and I also think it's reasonable to expect them
to understand simple Perl scripts like

Marvin Humphrey

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