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From "Andrew S. Townley" <>
Subject Re: [lucy-dev] C implementation [was Re: [lucy-dev] All dependency licensing issues resolved]
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2011 11:10:30 GMT

On 7 Nov 2011, at 4:13 AM, Nathan Kurz wrote:

> 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?


> 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
> library.
> 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?
> --nate

The only thing I can add is that I've been going through the same questions for a different
project and still failed to come up with an answer that I liked.  While it's a bit of a mutant,
an advantage on OSX is that it will generate an Xcode project (along with MSVC projects),
but there are still some issues.  I haven't yet made the decision, but having worked with
autotools for years on some fairly complex projects, when they work, they do make life a lot
simpler than trying to do cross-platform stuff other ways.

Obviously, autotools will work just fine on OSX, but they don't support integration with native
applications very well.  Anytime you're doing any GUI stuff, you'll have developers using
Xcode projects.  If there are a lot of source files, adding these to the project manually
and getting things working from an autotools build is a bit of a PITA.

Again, I don't have an answer, but I wanted to provide some OSX-centric observations.


Andrew S. Townley <>

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