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Re: build system work

From: John Mandereau
Subject: Re: build system work
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 10:56:01 +0100

Il giorno ven, 04/03/2011 alle 12.16 +0000, Graham Percival ha scritto:
> There is widespread dissatisfaction with our current build system.
> Replacing it is estimated to take at least 200 hours, but that's a
> total shot in the dark.  However, a few people have expressed interest
> in working on this.
> IMO, such a project should begin by figuring out what the current
> build system does.  Absolutely nobody understands the entire thing,
> and it's not particularly documented.  I'd estimate that we should
> spend about *50 hours* documenting what the current system does,
> before even beginning any serious discussion about making a new one.

I'm not sure how time can be spent on this in a wise way.  There is so
much stuff in the build system that documenting all what it does is a
daunting task, but if this allows more people to understand and work on
the build system, so good; anyway this is porbably necessary to allow
many people to work together on this.  If I may, quoting makefile code
should concentrate on the most difficult portions and features, although
there is not a definition of what's difficult (maybe constructs you
don't understand immediately after having read Make manual?).

> To that end, I've just added a new CG 12 Build system notes.  The goal
> is to have a "wiki-like" dump of whatever info we suspect about the
> build system.  If you think you have some info that you can add, just
> add it.  Don't worry about whether it's correct or not.  If you see
> some existing material in there that you think is incorrect, then
> we'll talk about it and either correct it, or just dump your alternate
> theories about what's happening, so that the reader can see both
> theories.

How much interest is there in having a very general picture (possibly
without quoting directly the makefiles) about the stepmake layer (i.e.
makefiles build, recursive make (both inside same directory and in
dubdirectories)), about the flaws (and desired improvements) of doc
build?  There is already some of this present in CG 12, but it's
incomplete.  I'm going away for a few days and will be busy until
Sunday, but I should find some time next week.


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