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Re: kde moves to scons. The future of autotools?

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: kde moves to scons. The future of autotools?
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 13:52:38 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 14 Sep 2005, Peter Volkov Alexandrovich wrote:

The aim of scons is to replace gnu build system, but what are the weak
sides of gnu build system? Yes I know it's rather complex and do not use
md5sum to check for changed files but autotools is time-tested solution.
Could scons replace ./configure, that is standart de facto?

The biggest weakness of the GNU build system (as well as one of its major strengths) is that it makes no assumptions about the installation environment. Rather than assuming/reqiring that certain non-standard tools are available, the GNU build system is designed to work with only the lowest common denominator standard utilities.

As a result, packages using the GNU build system can be installed on almost any machine which offers the basic prerequisites like a C compiler. The GNU build system is very reliable and extremely mature due to many years of use and strong support.

The drawback is that due to the use of relatively crude tools like sh, sed, awk, and make, the GNU system is more complex, larger, and more difficult to maintain. If the GNU system could rely on an evironment like Python, Perl, or Ruby being pre-installed, then it could be much smaller, faster, and easier to maintain.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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