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Re: Future plans for Autotools

From: Paul Smith
Subject: Re: Future plans for Autotools
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 10:03:40 -0500
User-agent: Evolution 3.36.4-0ubuntu1

On Mon, 2021-01-25 at 09:47 -0500, Zack Weinberg wrote:
> I'm not at all familiar with Automake's internals, but the reason I
> suggested taking advantage of GNU make extensions was the potential
> for _complexity_ reduction of the generated Makefile, not
> performance.

Oh yes, there's absolutely no question that generated makefiles could
be made significantly simpler if we didn't have to write them as POSIX-
compliant, and could rely on some GNU make features.  The POSIX spec
for make is pretty limited/limiting.

I only meant to suggest I don't think performance will be much

Your example squarely fits within my thought that if the automake devs
feel that requiring GNU make would make their lives simpler, that would
be a good reason to require it.

> Automake _does_ make heavy use of shell constructs embedded inside
> frequently-executed rules, for instance

Oh interesting.  Yes, I agree, a good bit of shell-based pathname
manipulation could be tossed, if not all, and that could make a
difference.  Especially on platforms like Windows where process startup
is far more expensive.

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