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RE: GNU Make Extensions

From: Duft Markus
Subject: RE: GNU Make Extensions
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:18:26 +0100

> On Wed, 10 Dec 2008, NightStrike wrote:
> >
> > Ok, so again, I should be allowed to accept that *potential* risk as
> > being far less than the current situation of *actual* risk which is
> > causing problems.  If I knew anything about Perl, I'd just do it
> > myself, but alas, the automake source confounds me :(
> There is a philosophical stance that the software we develop is
> intended for the software users rather than the software developer.
> There is a problem if build behavior is different for the user than
> for the software developer.

Build behaviour wouldn't change, would it? would have the
same contents as before....

> It seems that increasingly there is an idea among software developers
> and maintainers that software developer satisfaction is more important
> than user satisfaction.

This is not an idea of software developers only. Of course, I also like
to have a convenient way to work on my packages (which is the reason I
prefer to use Confix [1], which wraps autotools, and does work with
"wildcards", and this works quite well), but the main problem is, that
when developing commercial software (or even open source software in a
commercial environment, just as I do), my boss won't accept, that it
takes hours to maintain the *build*. Come on - this just can't be true.
For me it takes a few *seconds* to bootstrap a new package from just
source files to a complete autotools manages package, without too many
problems. In the developer case - hell yeah - our time is precious too,
not only user satisfaction counts!

Also thinking this a little further: especially when I'm working at home
on some free software, I have sometimes only half an hour or something
like that to spend on developing; I *don't* want to spend this time
maintaining the build mechanism!! Really: I don't want to do this. If I
would not have Confix [1] I wouldn't use autotools...

> Software lasts longer than any individual maintainer or developer and
> so GNU build tools should strive to preserve the freedom of that
> software by ensuring that end users are provided with the same
> facilities that the original developers had available.  This includes
> the list of files which are included in the package.

Oh, come on. This is simply invalid. The list of files is used to create
a distfile, so the list of files is the files included in the distfile.
It can *always* be reconstructed, and if you're looking for some
*special* list of files, which is wildcarded in, then either
simply 'ls' with the same wildcard in the directory, or look into, since this has to conatin the flattened list of files

Sorry if this sounds a little rude, it's not meant to be. It's just that
about the same discussion is around at our company for some years now,
forcing us to slowly move away from autotools (can you imagine the amout
of work to move ~700 libraries to another build system?!?)

Cheers, Markus

> Bob
> ======================================
> Bob Friesenhahn
> address@hidden,
> GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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