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Re: Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make? (was: Re: [gnu

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make? (was: Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] portability)
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:24:25 +0100
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On Tuesday 22 November 2011, Richard Stallman wrote:
>       1. We start requiring GNU make in an "experimental" automake 2.0
>        development line (which might, and will, break whathever
>        backward-compatibility gets in its way).
> If we want to experiment with this, we should not do so in Automake!
> Rather, one GNU package could drop support for ordinary Make, and see
> how users react.  If the level of complaint is not too high, then
> another GNU package could do this.
I like this approach.  Still, we could be even more conservative, and
have one or few GNU packages offer distribution tarballs built with
"new automake" by default, while continuing (for a while at least) to
also offer distribution tarballs built with "traditional automake".
Ideally, the download links for such "compatibility tarballs" would
not be accessible from the package's web pages directly, but only
referenced in the INSTALL file of the "new-style tarballs".

> Once many GNU packages have done
> this, we might conclude it is ok for all GNU packages to do so
> (perhaps with a few exceptions).
> Then we could deprecate use of Automake to make ordinary makefiles.
> Later we could remove that support from Automake.
> This is a slow, cautious process -- the way it should be.
I fully agree.  Being too hasty in this process would probably be the
easier way towards an assured failure.

>     > Maybe in the discussion we should distinguish GNU-like systems
>     > (perhaps including Mac OS)
>     >
>     Do you mean POSIX-like systems?
> I mean GNU-like.  GNU is our main target, but if another system is
> similar enough to GNU, support for it is not much extra work.
OK.  So, for example, the FreeBSD and NetBSD systems could be
considered GNU-like enough, since they use gcc and g++ as the
default compiler, and comes with easily installable pre-packaged
versions of the core GNU software (make, sed, bash, and coreutils,
to name a few).


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