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Re: Parallel configure

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Parallel configure
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:44:58 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.6.1

On 1/28/21 9:44 AM, Gavin Smith wrote:
One big question is whether you are going to think of your
configuration step as:

* linear script with a parallel part in it (i.e. call make from shell), or
* a parallel system with a linear part in it (i.e. call shell from make)

We need both.

If we're going to do this as an upward-compatible extension to Autoconf, one way to move forward is to think of the current 'configure' script as a top-level linear script, and your goal as a software developer will be to parallelize it as much as possible. Presumably you'd do that by invoking a new Autoconf macro; this macro would run 'make -j' (i.e., call make from shell) and each 'make' rule (running in parallel) would typically invoke the shell (i.e., call shell from make). This could even nest further, though I expect that'd be relatively rare. I assume we'd need variants of AC_REQUIRE that help us do dependencies better (I'm handwaving here...).

If we're going to do an incompatible replacement for Autoconf there are surely many other possibilities.

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