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Re: Moving away from make

From: Han-Wen Nienhuys
Subject: Re: Moving away from make
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 12:59:31 -0300

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:53 AM, Phil Holmes <address@hidden> wrote:
> I understand it's been discussed before, but I am wondering whether it's
> worth thinking the unthinkable and considering moving away from make.  I
> know it's been used in loads of projects and is much loved, but actually,
> from a design perspective, it's appalling.  If I was writing a "make" system
> from scratch,

Careful: many people have tried writing something better, and most
attempts failed. It is not a trivial problem.

> I would describe dependencies in data structures that are
> viewable and editable, and have a separate program that uses those
> structures to determine which files need making.  Instead we have a fairly
> impenetrable system of makefiles that are created by (to me) a completely
> impenetrable autoconf system, and the only way of checking dependencies is
> to open all the makefiles (sourcefiles in effect) and read and understand
> each.  It's rather as if one had to read the LilyPond .cpp files to
> understand how to change a piece of music.

We tried scons for a while, but it is extremely slow for incremental builds.

Given that Cmake has a large following (examples include KDE and
LLVM), I'd be comfortable with switching to that.

Han-Wen Nienhuys - address@hidden -

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