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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: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:39:05 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0; WOW64; rv:8.0) Gecko/20111105 Thunderbird/8.0

On 11/22/2011 8:03 PM, Dave Hart wrote:

If Autotools are primarily intended to support those using GNU/Linux
systems and portability is not a goal, your argument that GNU has won
and BSD compatibility of free software is no longer worthwhile makes

Where did I say automake 2 = Linux-only?

What I said is that if this next-generation version of automake were to require GNU make, it would probably still support 99.999% of all hosts it currently targets out of the box, and could pick up the last 0.001% with a widely available prerequisite install.

The 99.999% means Linux, OS X, Cygwin, and MinGW, at least, plus those systems where GNU make wasn't the default but is installed anyway for some other reason.

For those that think it's a huge problem for an autotools based package to have *any* build prerequisites, I used Unices in the bad old days where sed and awk were optional installs, and that didn't stall autotools' deployment back then, when it was more vulnerable. A requirement to install GNU make to build a Makefile generated via automake 2 won't kill the autotools now.

My point is not to argue in favor of GNU vs BSD or anything else religious like that. I am simply pointing out that a requirement for GNU make is scarcely more stringent these days than requiring a vaguely POSIX compatible shell.

As Ralf suggests, Automake has made it this far without requiring more
than portable make.

Yes, and we've bought that last 0.001% of compatibility with bigger, slower, and harder to read generated Makefiles and configure scripts. TANSTAAFL. If the price to lose some bloat, gain some speed, and increase the clarity of these files is that I have to install GNU make on the 0.001% of systems where it isn't installed already, that seems a fair trade.

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