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

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make?
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:37:56 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.13.7 (Linux/2.6.30-2-686; KDE/4.6.5; i686; ; )

On Tuesday 22 November 2011, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> 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.
Which IMHO would be a "killer benefit" :-)

But now that I think about it, a GNU make-based rewrite might also offer
better extensibility (if we get the APIs right, that is), and that would
be a *great* improvement over the current situation, and one which would
benefit the whole user base (not only the maintainers).

> 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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