[cairo] COPYING files....

Keith Packard keithp at keithp.com
Tue Feb 10 11:26:37 PST 2004

Around 18 o'clock on Feb 10, Egbert Eich wrote:

> 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.

Autoconf uses m4 as a macro language, which is unarguably more appropriate
for this task than CPP, but functionally similar.  Adding autoconf macros 
is precisely the same as adding imake macros, only the language used to 
implement them is different.  If you look at how pkg-config integrates 
with autoconf, it does so by distributing a file full of custom autoconf 
macros.  If we find ourselves wishing for shared custom autoconf macros, 
we can (as gnome does) create a small module that installs those custom 
autoconf macros in the build system.

The nicest part about all of this is that once the tarballs are built, the 
target system need have *none* of the autoconf/automake tool chain 

> 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.

I think this slightly overstates the case; automake does make more 
assumptions about the structure of your project than autoconf, that is one 
of the ways it reduces the amount of work needed to create a good 
build architecture for your project.  However, after automaking several 
dozen projects, I haven't found it particularily GNU-centric, aside from 
it's annoying habit of sticking the GPL license into your directory (which 
can be disabled with command line options).  I look at that behaviour as a 
little bit of harmless FSF evangelism, more or less like being handed a 
flower by a hari krishna at the airport.


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