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Re: Future plans for Autotools

From: Paul Smith
Subject: Re: Future plans for Autotools
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:06:09 -0500
User-agent: Evolution 3.36.4-0ubuntu1

On Mon, 2021-01-25 at 17:48 -0500, Nick Bowler wrote:
> But for me, I want my packages to be widely portable and out-of-the-
> box compatibility with default "make" implementations, to the
> greatest extent possible, on a wide variety of real-world platforms
> is important.

I understand, but standard make is really lame.  As Zack points out,
you can't even rely on $< being available in explicit rules.  And
that's just the start.  It's frustrating, time-consuming, and error-
prone to write POSIX conforming makefiles, even if they're auto-

GNU make itself is extremely portable: it wasn't until last year that
we even required C99 (basically forced because we're using more gnulib
now in GNU make); prior to that C89 was sufficient.  And, it builds
pretty quickly.

And finally, more and more GNU projects are already requiring it,
because they're writing their own rules in that use GNU
make features.

I suppose I'm biased but I don't feel like, as a basic requirement, GNU
make is a big ask for the benefits it gives.

But as I've said, to me this is mostly up to the automake devs.  I'm
just a bystander.  Although I'm happy to help with advice on
implementation if it gets that far, and is wanted/needed.

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