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From Kay Schenk <>
Subject Re: Mentor a new build system.
Date Mon, 14 Oct 2013 17:44:51 GMT
On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 12:38 AM, Andre Fischer <> wrote:

> On 11.10.2013 18:10, janI wrote:
>> Hi.
>> FYI: as I informed a while ago, I made a project proposal for OSU
>> capstone.
>> The project has been selected, so we will have 4 students working the next
>> months to achieve the following:
> That is great news.  Thank you for pushing this forward.
>> extract from above:
>> motivation:
>> "Apache OpenOffice is the biggest open source office package, with 65
>> milllion downloads of our last version. A number of other open source
>> packages are derived from OpenOffice, and incorporates patches and
>> enhancements from AOO.
>> The AOO source code is very big, 121 languages, 233 modules and 2933
>> makefiles (including sub-makefiles). As programming platform, we use C++
>> (bulk part), Java, Python, Perl and some special libraries
>> The build system is old, a combination of perl and dmake, and has grown
>> over the years into a non standard, hard to understand non documented
>> system.
>> At the same time, we want to attract more developers, therefore we want to
>> make a new build system based on modern technology, which are easy to use
>> especially for windows developers."
>> goal:
>> "The goal is to:
>> 1) make a build system suitable for use with microsoft visual studio
>> 2) make a build system suitable for use on linux (makefiles)
>> One of those systems should be the primary one and the other one should be
>> automatically generated.
> I am not happy with that last sentence.   When there is one 'primary'
> flavor of the build system, then that tends to get much more attention than
> the other flavors.  This happened with both build system that we have.
>  They heavily tend to the Unix side and are slow and hard to use on Windows.
> I think that we should treat our major platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac)
> equal.

I plead absolute ignorance about Visual Studio 2008, but I thought it could
use "makefile" specifications -- though maybe this is not well-integrated
from what I've been reading.

In my mind, it would be great to ditch if we could, and go with a
straight makefile setup. We've already worked on this aspect.

 I have not thoroughly investigated the workings of "", but I'm
wondering if it's the mix of what we're trying to build -- e.g. the
helpcontent -- that is a bottleneck here. To me, it seems "code" components
could be built in some standard way and these other aspects built in their
own environment and plugged in later at some point. Just some thoughts I've
had, which might not make any sense. ;}

But, I'm happy to see this proposal and I hope it gets accepted. The more
eyes we have on the build process, the better.

>  The team must first understand how the current system works in general,
>> and
>> then build scenarios how a \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"perfect\\\\\\\**\\\\\\\\"
>> system
>> would look like.
>> Second task is to implement it, in parallel with the existing system
>> Third task is to help test it on the different platforms we support. "
>> I will mentor the students, but hope that the community will be behind me
>> and help as well. If the students turn out to be motivated they can, as
>> volunteers and committers, be a real bonus for the project.
>> Another apache committer who lives close to the OSU have promised to help
>> me as well.
>> I am aware there are very different ideas about how a new build system
>> should look like, but lets use this possibility to get moving, if the
>> result works it cannot be less "nice" than the current system.
> I hope that you are right.  But the our second build system proves that
> just working does not necessarily result in an improvement. But I don't
> want to sound too negative.  This project is a great start and I believe
> that you and the students and our community will be able to improve the
> build system greatly.
>> are anybody with knowledge of etc. interested in helping out ?
> As you know, I have already done some reasearch in this area and I would
> be glad to help.
> Regards
> Andre
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"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged
 to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't."
                             -- "Following the Equator", Mark Twain

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