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Re: serious doubts about waf

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: serious doubts about waf
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 23:07:43 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 02:38:12PM -0800, Patrick McCarty wrote:
> On 2009-11-11, Graham Percival wrote:
> > What's the advantage of automake over the current system?  (I'm
> > not even certain what the current system is called!)
> I don't have much experience *using* automake, but from what I've
> read:
>   - A is easier to maintain than an equivalent handcoded
>     makefile.

If we were doing this from scratch, I'd definitely push for rather than the stepmake system.  However, we already
have an almost-working stepmake system; at the moment I doubt that
the cost of switching to is worth the benefits.

>   - The generated makefiles will be very portable (not reliant on GNU
>     make).

Given that most of our users are on windows, I defined
"portability" as "it will run on operating system X with Y extra
software installed", where X should be large and Y should be

Although I'd like to, I can't claim that cygwin (or manually
installing the GNU tools on windows) is a "small Y".

I'm quite annoyed at the build system situation.  In all
seriousness, I think that make (possibly including automake) is
the best build system.  All the "next generation" build systems
seem to shoot their feet off in various ways... cmake has the
strictly-defined "open source" (i.e. "closed documentation") as
well as its own invented scripting language... waf has the
oddities details here... apparently scons is slow, although I
personally don't care about the speed issue.

- Graham

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