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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 22:04:37 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.13.7 (Linux/2.6.30-2-686; KDE/4.6.5; i686; ; )

On Tuesday 22 November 2011, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Nov 2011, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> >>> there may be some benefit to package maintainers (hopefully by
> >>> making automake easier to use),
> >>>
> > My hope is to manage, in the *long* run (real long), to turn automake
> > (or more precisely, its purpoted GNU-make-based successor, let's call
> > it "automire") into something *truly* extensible -- I mean, something
> > like autoconf-extensible.  This would be a huge win for the package
> > maintainers.
> In order for this to work, Automake would need to become self-hosting 
> (not need other packages to be installed in advance) and written only 
> in a GNU-approved and FSF-copyrighted portable implementation 
> language.
Honestly, my idea was to follow the "lead" of Quagmire here, and use
GNU make's own "extensibility" ($(eval), $(call), self-reflection
features like $(.VARIABLES), etc.) as a leverage.  If we don't, we'd
better try to create a new-generation build system instead, as you've

> Currently Automake is written in perl, which is not a 
> GNU-approved or FSF-copyrighted language and is also something which 
> would need to be installed in advance.  If Automake was self-hosting 
> then there would be no need for distributing pre-generated template 
> files since Automake could generate everything it needs at run-time.
> It would be quite useful for a FSF project to be spun-up to create an 
> embeddable/small language interpreter and standard library which is 
> capable of efficiently implementing complex make-like functionality 
> ('automake') as well as providing functional replacements for any 
> necessary string processing currently provided by 'sed', 'awk', and 
> 'printf'.  The sole function of the interpreter would be to provide 
> the framework for building other software.  This intepreter could form 
> the basis for the new automake build tool.
That sounds like a too grand, over-reaching plan to me; and its very
concept seems to be somewhat at odds with the Unix philosophy.


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