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From Nathan Kurz <>
Subject Re: [lucy-dev] C implementation [was Re: [lucy-dev] All dependency licensing issues resolved]
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2011 04:13:23 GMT
On Sun, Nov 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM, Peter Karman <> wrote:
> Marvin Humphrey wrote on 10/28/11 1:09 AM:
>> It may be hard/awkward/impossible to do everything we need with Make.  We
>> still have to run the Clownfish compiler from Perl right now, so when we get
>> to that, we'll need a Perl script that we can run from Make.
> Is there anything to be gained by using autoconf and friends?
> Or asked another way, why would we *not* want to use autoconf and friends?

A couple of Linux developers recently came up with a sample library
designed to show best practices:

They take a strong pro-autoconf stance that I think reflects the
current Linux mainstream:

use autotools
  - every custom config/makefile build system is worse for everybody
    than autotools is
  - we are all used to autotools, it works, nobody cares
  - it's only two simple files to edit and include in git, which are
    well understood by many many people, not just you.
  - ignore all crap autotools create in the source tree. never check
    the created files into git
  - Never, ever, ever install config.h. That's internal to your
    sources and is nothing to install.
  - And really, anything but autotools is not an option. Just get over
    it. Everything else is crack, and it will come back to you if you
    choose anything else, sooner or later. Why? think cross
    compilation, installation/uninstallation, build root integration,
    separate object trees, standard adherence, tarball handling, make
    distcheck, portability between distros, ...

In the comments, there are a few couple good arguments for CMake as a
more palatable and portable alternative, but I think the authors are
right that we will viewed with considerable suspicion and initial
prejudice by Linux developers if we don't use autoconf for a C

Strangely, I think it's actually permissible if the actual Makefile
calls out to Perl and Charmonizer (and to build Charmonizer), but for
acceptance this should be hidden behind a layer of "configure && make
&& make install".

I'm not sure what the Windows perspective looks like, but I fear it
might not be compatible with this view.  Can any of the new additions
to this list offer that perspective?  And what works well for OSX?


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