[cairo] COPYING files....

Egbert Eich eich at xfree86.org
Tue Feb 10 09:48:52 PST 2004

Jim Gettys writes:
 > 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.

I don't consider this as a proof. Furthermore this is no argument not to
look at other build systems to see if they have useful fueatures that 
may be worthwhile having. I would not be surprised if only very few
of those using automake has ever bothered doing this.
I see a few advantages in the old build system and these are importand
to me. I also see a lot of disadvantages. I don't want to preserve these -
I just want to preserve the advantages.
I also note that a lot of effort has been undertaken to add features
that are importand to FSF style projects to automake.

 > 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.

I'm not talking about modular vs. monolitic. I'm talking about 
things I'm missing in automake vs things offered by automake we
may never need.

 > 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.

I'm not so sure if you or the others understand which features I'm
talking about. 
Imake knows rule macros. autotools knows predefined rules. 
Imake rules can be added or modified if required by just adding/changing 
a macro, by rebuilding the Makefiles this rule becomes available 
Adding/Modifying  automake rules would probably involve hacking the 
10k loc automake perl script. The only other way of adding new rules
to automake I can think of would be the creation if include files
which define suffix rules. However these are much less flexible than
the macros.
Look, I may be wrong here as I have just started reading into the
automake docs. Maybe somebody here can convince me that I'm wrong.

 > 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.

autoconf and libtool probably have grown out of the GNU project. 
automake may not. At least that's what I get from reading the texinfo 
docs that come with it.


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