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Re: About Makfile and Makefile.pamphlet (was: Re: [Axiom-developer] arch

From: root
Subject: Re: About Makfile and Makefile.pamphlet (was: Re: [Axiom-developer] architecture)
Date: Sun, 4 May 2003 09:55:31 -0400

> > In general it is dangerous to edit the Makefile or the Makefile.linux
> > files as, if they have later timestamps than the Makefile.pamphlet file
> > (due to the order you make changes), they will NOT get regenerated
> > leading to very subtle build errors (or worse, badly built systems).
> For this one, I knew about that. However we have a bootstrap issue: how
> to make the first Makefile from the corresponding Makefile.pamphlet
> while noweb and document are made by this missing Makefile?
> I think that in the long term we should have a ./configure shell script
> that creates the initial Makefile and creates needed environment
> variables.
> Using or not GNU Autoconf and related programs (Automake, ...) remains
> an open issue.

Actually you need to type

make start

which will create the noweb and supporting files sufficient to 
bootstrap the document command.

I've thought about autoconf and read the book. Ideally we don't
need autoconf because we live on top of common lisp. I've long
held the philosophy that it is best to write code that is as
simple as possible in any language so the common lisp i've
written (albeit not all the common lisp in the system) is dirt
simple and uses few features so it should work on every implementation.

Autoconf is useful for generating C[++] style makefiles but it seems
too specific to that language. It might be useful for parts of Axiom
which we'll need to port later such as the graphics. We'll certainly
end up debating its use in more detail as we progress.

I've also considered using lisp's defpackage system for parts of the
build but, again, it runs into problems of being very language specific.

A more general mechanism is Ant. I've used Ant for other projects and
I like its ability to extend. Unfortunately that drags Java into the
distribution which can only complicate things further.

I'm open to suggestions about where autoconf might be a useful approach
to some parts of the system.


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