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Re: Future plans for Autotools

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: Future plans for Autotools
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2021 18:47:38 -0700

I'd just like to suggest that in the event of future significant
development on a new automake, or a revamped build system in whatever
way, that the new system not be called "autoconf" or "automake".

It seems inevitable to me that any such new system would have
incompatibilities with the old, and this would cause trouble both for
the new developers (retaining perfect compatibility is hard and ugly,
thus typically does not happen), and existing users (their long-time
build scripts would be broken).(*)

It would surely be nice for a new system to be "as compatible as
possible" with the old, but pretending it is a drop-in replacement seems
like it would just lead to bad feelings all around. --best, karl.

(*) This already happened with autoconf 2.70, unfortunately. Even the
minor incompatibilities it introduced are a significant barrier for some
of us (at least me) to adoption. The kinds of rewrites being talked
about here would surely have far more compatibility issues.

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