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Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU m

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make?
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:18:13 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20110930 Thunderbird/7.0.1

On 11/22/2011 01:13 PM, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
>  When we introduced shell functions into Autoconf, and in general updated
>  Autoconf/M4sh/libtool for relatively new shells (new = newer than
>  Ultrix), it was successful exactly because no one noticed!

Maybe a first step would be to rewrite many (most?) of the automake
internals to take advantage of GNU make features, while retaining
~ 90% of backward compatibility; and only then start to improve the
APIs and, where necessary/conveninent, breaking backward compatibility.

I agree. However, I am not sure of the benefit except for Automake maintainability.

One old (and fortunately :) never realized) idea I had was to rewrite Automake in m4 as an extension of Autoconf. The main benefit would be introspectability of the build process via m4 traces. This would indeed be much simpler if you could base the implementation on GNU Make features from the beginning; but Automake is a very mature program with a mature codebase.


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