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Build environment

From: Jeff Bailey
Subject: Build environment
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 05:16:13 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040907i

I'll start by saying that I have nothing but hate for the build
environment in grub2.

I realise that automake can be equally confusing in many ways, but it
has two main advantages: 1) Everyone knows it already, 2) Other people
are helping solve bugs with it.

Assuming that we're stuck with this, is it home grown or is there some
upstream project using it?  The types of problems that I've seen:

 * No autodetection of Makefile snippet, to auto update them.  No
generic rules to handle the updating when testing.

 * No obvious well to tell how it's getting to any given phase.  No

 * Dependancy generation is run too early.  Initial dependancies are

 * No obvious way to add dependancies to specific files that need them.

 * Order in .mk files is important even for seemingly unrelated clauses.

The build system for grub2 just gets in the way of coding the program
itself.  I have a working version of grub-emu now for hppa-ipl, but most
of my coding time has been spent staring at Makefiles, wondering how the
other targets work, and copying segments of .rmk files that are
essentially identical in other files.  Done right, I suspect that I
could've done the port to this point in about 4 lines of Makefile

I've hated the build system for years, and the fact that none of the
people in #grub seem to understand it either doesn't help.  I've offered
to fix it up using the usual set of autotools a number of times, and the
offer still stands.

I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your
right to say it. 
 - Voltaire

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