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LYNX-DEV BSD makefile support 8

From: Michael Sokolov
Subject: LYNX-DEV BSD makefile support 8
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 11:50:50 -0400 (EDT)

   Bela Lubkin <address@hidden> writes:
>Idealism won't boot a computer.
   You think so? Wait and see.
   But let's get back to the Makefile issue... I see you saying that the
autoconfigure script produces a Makefile that one can verify and modify if
necessary. However, I claim that it is much more productive to do this with
a static Makefile than with one that's auto-generated each time.
   Suppose that I see a problem in the auto-generated Makefile. I fix it
and get that version to compile. When the next version comes out, or when I
need to install Lynx on another machine, I have to do it again. Similarly,
when another sysadmin has the same problem, he/she has to do it again too,
even though I have done that already. With a static Makefile, on the other
hand, a correct target can be added in a centralized fashion for everyone's
   If you are concerned about the static Makefile growing to a jumbo size
(about the size of your autoconfigure script) by supporting all possible
OSes, think of it this way. One can write a target that covers a huge
family of operating systems. For example, my pure 4.4BSD target covers ALL
BSD-based (or West Coast) UNIX systems. A simlar target for pure SVR4 would
cover ALL East Coast UNIX systems. These two targets together would cover
ALL UNIX SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD, since all of them were at some point based
on either BSD or SVR4 and when a system is based on some core, it normally
retains compatibility with that core. For instance, FreeBSD and NetBSD are
100% downward compatible with pure 4.4BSD, and Solaris is 100% downward
compatible with SVR4 (to the point that the logo says "SVR4" without even
mentioning Solaris). Thus you don't have to support all possible OSes or
try to automatically discern their nature, since just two static targets
are enough to COVER THE WORLD.
   And what about Larry W. Virden's suggestion that a traditional Makefile
be kept but limited to those targets that have volunteers supporting them?
As I have said before, I'm willing to be such a volunteer. Moreover, since
I know a lot about all BSD systems in general, I can extend my
responsibility to close (BSDI, FreeBSD, NetBSD) and distant (SunOS)
"relatives" of BSD and not just the pure 4.4BSD.
   Michael Sokolov
   Phone: 216-646-1864
   ARPA Internet SMTP mail: address@hidden
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