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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: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:14:12 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.13.7 (Linux/2.6.30-2-686; KDE/4.6.5; i686; ; )

Hi Warren.

On Wednesday 23 November 2011, Warren Young wrote:
> On 11/22/2011 10:33 AM, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> >
> > So far, automake has not been using gmake, so why should it
> > now start doing so?
> Because gmake is all but ubiquitous, and has been so for a decade.
> The only exception I can think of is the BSDs, which still stubbornly 
> stick to BSD make, apparently for political reasons.
In defense of the BSDs, I'd like to point out that their implementations 
of make are pretty powerful, extensible, and optimazed for the needs of
the build systems of the BSD's own utilities.  They also come with a
pre-existing "library" of makefile fragments and rules that greatly
simplify the work of the Makefile writer, in some ways akin to what
Automake does (withouth the extra portability, of course).  Finally,
in NetBSD and FreeBSD at least, it's very easy to install a modern
version of GNU make; and my guess is that many *BSD installation will
have a working gmake installation already, since that is required to
build various non-trivial, portable software (git anyone?).

> I think we'd see a change there PDQ if the autotools started
> requiring GNU make.
I don't think the BSD developers are going to abondon their make,
and I don't think they should, since if seems to suit their needs
pretty well.  I don't want to play "embrace, extend and extinguish"
here.  Still, having GNU and automire-based packages require GNU
make would help to make it more ubiquitous, and might motivate the
future versions of BSDs to install it in the "base system".


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