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Re: just one of a million reasons why autoconf is a worthless piece of s

From: Keith Marshall
Subject: Re: just one of a million reasons why autoconf is a worthless piece of shit (2)
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:00:29 +0000
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

On Sunday 16 March 2008 19:28, Paul Smith wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-03-16 at 15:40 +0100, Dirk wrote:
> > My point is that autoconf is such a bloated, self-important,
> > wet-script-kiddie-dream that is DOESN'T make the build process
> > easier...
> >
> > It rather encourages people to write their own config scripts...
> >
> > So the whole thing has lost its meaning...
> I'm not sure why I'm bothering to reply ...

Since you have taken the trouble, let me add my 2p in support.

> when you obviously don't 
> really want help, you just want to spout your own opinions and froth
> at the mouth to make yourself feel better at the expense of others.
> I'll just say two things: first, if you think "autoconf" is named
> that because it's automatic for the MAINTAINER, then you've
> COMPLETELY missed the point.  Here's a hint: it's not about you, it's
> about your users.
> Second, if you think you can write your own "config script" that will
> be portable to even a small fraction of the systems that an
> autoconfiscated package is, then by all means, have at it.  Many
> people have made the same hysterical claims you have, and yet
> strangely enough, no one has actually _produced_ anything better. 
> Odd.

Indeed.  IME, those who believe they can write their own configure 
scripts from scratch, are naive in the extreme; I shudder when I come 
across one of these horrors.

I've recently ported Andries Brouwer's, (now Federico Lucifredi's), 
variant of John Eaton's man program, for use with MSYS, under 
MS-Windows.  That package came with a hand crafted configure script, 
which "wasn't worth the effort of autoconfiscating, because its 
requirements were so modest".  Maybe so, if your requirements don't 
stretch beyond the confines of the platform on which you've done your 
original development!  That simple configure script was so damned good, 
that it got just about everything it tested completely wrong, when run 
from the MSYS bash shell.  About 50%, (possibly more), of the effort I 
expended in porting this application was directed at making its 
configure script produce useful results, (and yes, I threw away the 
original, to start from scratch with an autoconfiscated replacement).


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