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

From: Warren Young
Subject: Re: [gnu-prog-discuss] Could automake-generated Makefiles required GNU make?
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 19:24:35 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0; WOW64; rv:8.0) Gecko/20111105 Thunderbird/8.0

On 11/22/2011 6:02 PM, Harlan Stenn wrote:
The BSDs have their good reasons to want to avoid GPL'd code, especially

Adoption of GNU make as the default in BSD isn't the only possible way forward.

BSD make could implement the features the autotools need. From a bit of quick manual reading, it looks like some of that work is already done. BSD make understands := assignments and .PHONY, for example.

Besides: cd /usr/ports/devel/gmake && make install

Chances are good you don't need even that. If you've ever installed a package via ports, you probably have GNU make installed already, as a build dependency.

Google just found this for me in the NetBSD docs: "Packages which use GNU Automake will almost certainly require GNU Make." I'm guessing that was written by a NetBSD fan from experience, rather than slipped in by some pro-GNU-anti-BSD saboteur. If so, fait accompli already.

Besides, why should BSD purity get to hold back the Autotools? If the stats are to be believed, *BSD's market share is under 1% that of Linux, which itself is only about 1% of the overall market of machines the Autotools can reasonably be used on. Further reduce that by the percentage of BSD boxes that have not yet had gmake installed after installation; 10% maybe? We're probably talking about a set of boxes comprising < 0.001% of the market. (10% of 1% of 1%.)

The hyperconservative autotools do drop backwards compatibility for marginalized systems occasionally. I seem to recall that some Ultrix compatibility hacks were dropped recently, for example.

Not that I'm comparing modern BSDs to Ultrix. They BSDs probably couldn't be killed off at this point even if one wanted to. Still, to cater to the limitations of systems commanding something on the order 0.001% of the market seems a *bit* obsessive.

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