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Re: CHECK_STRUCTS/dmpstruct.h mechanism is broken.

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: CHECK_STRUCTS/dmpstruct.h mechanism is broken.
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2019 16:29:50 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1

Achim Gratz wrote:
Another consideration for Emacs specifically would be how much extra
baggage we can afford to pack and still support all the systems that we
do now.

Sure, but that is a reason to prefer Emacs as a candidate for switching from Autoconf/Automake to GNU Make. Unlike most other major GNU packages, Emacs already assumes GNU Make, so the switch won't introduce a dependency. Also, Emacs (unlike most other GNU packages) already avoids Automake and this has already prompted Gnulib to support packages that don't use Automake. I'm merely thinking of another step in this process, where Gnulib adds support for packages that don't use Autoconf either. Since Gnulib currently provides 2/3 of the code that goes into 'configure', this would be a good step toward moving Emacs away from Autoconf.

Note that I'm not proposing to move away from the Autoconf Way of testing features rather than guessing them. I'm merely proposing a way to do that within the framework of GNU Make (which is parallelized) instead of m4+sh (which is not).

I still think that incrementally
improving autoconf is more likely to successfully (and quickly) move
things forward than trying to outright re-implement it.

As a veteran of Autoconf I disagree, but the only way to resolve this is to see what happens. Parallelizing Autoconf is a much bigger project than transitioning GNU Emacs away from Autoconf, and nobody has seriously proposed attempting it. I think transitioning GNU Emacs is doable but to be honest the initial reactions here have not been encouraging and so my enthusiasm for the idea is lagging (for non-technical reasons, not for technical ones).

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