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serious doubts about waf

From: Graham Percival
Subject: serious doubts about waf
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 23:34:35 +0000

I'm just about ready to give up on waf.  (in particular, I'm not doing
anything else unless somebody convinces me otherwise)     The
dev/gperciva branch can build various manuals in HTML and pdf,
including the texi2html init files and css stuff.  However, you need
to run it twice -- the first time you run waf, it will die.  The
second time it's just fine.

The basic problem is that waf doesn't like to have directories in the
build tree that aren't present in the source tree.  After asking for
help, the main author pointed out a not-really-documented function
that allowed me to create an extra directory:

However, this special function doesn't seem to work instantaneously...
or else I'm doing something really weird in

In the discussion (shown in the above link), it turns out that the waf
API is going to change in version 1.6.  This new version is only in
the planning stages; no code exists for it... but I'm really starting
to question if we really want to use waf.  I have to admit that I was
really shaken by the directory thing.  I assumed that since it was
python, I could do anything that python could do -- so making
directories, moves files from directory to directory, etc. would be
easy.  Apparently not.

I'm therefore considering wholeheartedly embracing automake.  Yes,
it's a bit clunky, but it's already a completely-working system (other
than 2 or 3 things in the Issue tracker).  I could replace bits and
pieces of it to make it easier to understand + maintain.

- Graham

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