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Re: Building prog first

From: Steffen Dettmer
Subject: Re: Building prog first
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 14:06:59 +0100

On Sun, Mar 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM, Russell Shaw <address@hidden> wrote:
> But it is somewhat big, and i had already searched through the
> online one a lot first. It is no wonder it takes noobs so long
> to get productive.

Yes, indeed; and even longer to get it productive correctly.

I think this is no matter of the documentation, but a matter of
the high complexity. autoconf/automake are really really
powerfula and the number of functionality that has to be
considered is very high. Flexible installation and stuff,
behavior highly configurable by the user (not only the package
developer!), automatic alignment to the system, configurable
behavior of this automatic alignment, multi-language support,
even within one and the same package, source code generation,
multiple configurations built from one set of sources, support
for various ways of library usage and even cross-compiling.

This is really MUCH stuff. I think it seems more or less to
requireto learn two new programming languages, `autoconf M4
language' and `automake Makefile language'. Both, I think, are
difficult to master; the first is mostly imperative/procedural,
but has two times of execution (autoconf runtime and configure
runtime) and is very very big (there are so many `keywords' to
learn), and, I think, the other is mostly functional, which is
especially hard to master, when somone is mostly used to work in
procedural languages like C or C++.

I think, if half that requirements should be solved by let's say
ant, the needed extensions also would be difficult to learn and
use - just because the topic is difficult and complex.



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