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

From: Harlan Stenn
Subject: Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make?
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:45:24 -0800

I probably still do the lion's share of updates to the's in
NTP, at least for nontrivial changes.  But I'm not sure that matters for
this discussion.  (And Dave Hart has done a few of the tricky ones,

NTP started using autoconf as its "detection needs" are ... nontrivial,
and started using automake as I wanted a way to have a single copy of
the source code with subdir build trees.  Metaconfig (the beast used by
Perl that I maintained for its "version 2" lifetime) did not have this
capability (and as I understand it, still doesn't).

NTP pretty much runs everywhere.  It was  not that long ago that NTP
dropped support for K&R C compilers, and at that point required ANSI C
(and I'm not sure if it's C89/C90 or C99, but nobody has complained so I
haven't looked harder).  Now that commodity x86 boxes are so "pervasive"
there is no longer a compelling reason to support things like ancient
sparc, mips, hp, ... boxes.

My goal is to make sure that people can easily build NTP.

Toward that end I want to minimize the number of extra tools that might
need to be installed.

I would not want to require GCC, for example.

We don't require perl, but if it is there we use it.

We do not require yacc-lex/bison-flex or GNU autogen for building.  But
if a developer wants to changes certain files, those tools will be

If there is a compelling reason to "upgrade" from current automake we'll
do it.

Some things I'd like to see would include easy non-recursive Makefiles
(that would let folks easily build any list of given particular
programs), and a means to integrate NTP into a larger build environment.
More generally, I'd love to see a widely-used framework that would make
it easy to create a "build" from a number of different separate

But I don't know what "friction" we'll be living with in the future, or
what friction we have now that will either get worse or go away.

Live and learn, if we're lucky...


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