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Re: A Closer Look at GNU AutoTools

From: Hartmut Holzgraefe
Subject: Re: A Closer Look at GNU AutoTools
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2014 00:36:11 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.6.0

On 09/04/2014 11:00 PM, Shawn H Corey wrote:

> When was the last time you read completely through those manuals?
> There's too much information all at once. And I didn't say the manuals
> were bad. It's that the documentation is too dense and not organized
> for learning. In other words, crappy.

at least with autotools there are alternative documentation sources:

* the good old "Goats Book" which is also available online, and seems
  to have received an update lately:

  I still refer to my paper copy every once in a while, but by now
  that one's so old that a lot of things need to be cross-checked
  against current autotools documentation

* Autotools Mythbusters

  available as ebook and online

* "Autotools: A Practioner's Guide to GNU Autoconf, Automake, and
  Libtool "

  available as paper and 'e' book, but no free edition here ...

While on the CMake front there's still essentially just "Mastering
CMake" which is just more or less the CMake wiki documentation
exported to paper ...

I've got to deal with both, for Unix-only projects I still prefer
autotools over Cmake any time as the produced Makefiles are just
way more powerful and the configuration option naming is more
meaningful without the -D prefix and with the possibility to
group them by topic where cmake and cmake-gui just provide an
alphabetical list. But our flagship products need to be delivered
for Windows, too, and maintaining two build systems in parallel
didn't really make sense after all, so it's all cmake on that
front now ...

And I can tell you that the cmake documentation gives me WTF
moments way more often than the autotools counterpart by now ...


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