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Re: Automake 1.11.2 released

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: Automake 1.11.2 released
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 09:59:15 -0600 (CST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Tue, 27 Dec 2011, Dave Hart wrote:

I do question the usefulness of comparing lines counts of
Autoconf-generated configure script and source code.  If you're trying
to elicit support from maintainers of oft-maligned yet widely-used
autotools, you've chosen an interesting way of warming up your

I have been a user of (and proponent of) autotools from the beginning and even wrote a Byte magazine article about Autoconf many years ago.

The approach that lzip used satisifies the standard GNU-mandated configuration requirements. Due to using only standard C++, it only needs to configure aspects such as the compiler used and installation prefix. This approach leads to a very small source package similar to that of gzip and bzip2. The drawback of using standard C++ is that C++ has only been standardized since 1998 and a C++-runtime library is required in order for lzip to be used. This means that lzip might not be available in every possible circumstance (but there is always the gzip fallback).

There is a certain beauty associated with simplicity which was appreciated by Kernighan & Pike ("Simplicity, Clarity, Generality") but is somehow often lost by today's huge packages.

My most recent experience with building 'xz' dates from this past October and it was not a pleasant one since the build failed with bizarre linker errors I have not observed while building any other package.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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