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Re: autotools not suited to proprietary development?

From: Warren Young
Subject: Re: autotools not suited to proprietary development?
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 16:45:49 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060909)

Andre Stechert wrote:

I think you're confusing the idea of a build system for portable software
(something the autotools suite can help with) and an installer (or package
if you're installing onto a system that has a package manager).


It's not that autotools do the wrong thing, it's that we're currently missing a tool that you might call "autopackage". It would need to make RPMs and DEBs on Linux, EXEs on Windows, PKG+MPKG+DMG bundles on OS X, etc.

Proprietariness doesn't enter into it. I've got essentially the same problem on two open source projects I'm the lead on, where we want to distribute binaries for various reasons. We just handle each platform separately.

An autopackage tool would be nice to have, but it'd need to be awfully smart to be useful. Package deployment differs greatly among platforms. You've got the deep FHS tree on Linux, /Applications and .app bundles on OS X, c:\Program Files on Windows...and that's just the start, because you probably have to distribute a different set of files on each platform: there are a lot of places where there is no 1:1 correspondence between a file you must have on one platform and what is needed to get the same result on another platform.

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