[cairo] COPYING files....

Jim Gettys Jim.Gettys at hp.com
Mon Feb 9 07:09:00 PST 2004

> Automake was designed specifically to meet the needs to FSF projects.
> It is made to meet the GNU Makefile.in standard and also some other 
> FSF requirements and it has special rules for generating documentation
> from texinfo files as well as building binary .elc files for emacs 
> list from .el files. While these are all requirements for FSF projects
> there are no rules for generating/converting X specific file types
> and I don't see how automake can be extended for these.
> Therefore automake may not be the optimal tool for building X modules.

Egbert, I understand your concern, but the existence proof of
the use of the autotools by essentially *all* other open source
software projects gives ample counterexamples this position; many
very large projects use them successfully.

Optimal is also along some axis.  The problems I've seen by
monolithic distribution of X are major, and we're much more
rapidly picking up worker bees as a result, as far as I can
tell, who had been intimidated by the foreign Imake based
X build world.

If things were the way they were, say 5 years ago, with much
less mature autotools, and Imake still being more commonly used,
doing a Imake based modular distribution might have made sense
to me, but at this date, the cultural bonuses are major.

And yes, we've found a very few nits in them requiring improvements
to deal with X related issues, but so far, so good.  
The proof is in the pudding, however, and we're not done yet.

As the autotools grew out of the GNU project, it isn't very
surprising they have that bias to me; now that we're aware of them,
we'll make sure things like the automatic generation of the 
copying file doesn't bite us.
                          - Jim

Jim Gettys <Jim.Gettys at hp.com>
HP Labs, Cambridge Research Laboratory

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