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Re: proposal to fork the build-tools projects

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: proposal to fork the build-tools projects
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 12:56:37 -0600 (MDT)

    Here's a quote from "another list" that illustrates a problem with the
    auto* approach to release mgt:

           > I'm looking at trying to get autoconf to detect the right version 
           > BDB (need to export some SVN_FS_GOT_DB_MAJOR variants), and 
           > the checks just right probably exceeds my amount of free time that 
           > can dedicate to this.

I do not see that this indicates a fundamental problem, only
that there is work to be done to handle hard situations.

    The graph of interproject dependencies, including version-specific
    dependencies, is very complex -- bordering on intractable.

Do the developers of autoconf believe this is true?

    The de facto bootstrap tools don't have that problem -- they don't
    depend on much at all.

Therefore, handling them is fairly easy.

                             Supporting their builds is an entirely
    different problem from supporting the builds of everything else.
    One fork for those bootstrap projects -- another for everything else.

This conclusion does not follow.  Given that we are trying to handle
"everything else" anyway, perhaps it is easies to do what we are
doing, and handle the bootstrap projects with the same autoconf and

Unless the developers of autoconf and automake agree with you and
favor this sort of split, I will not encourage it.

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