[cairo] Problems compiling latest git on OSX

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Fri Dec 11 08:39:12 PST 2009

On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 00:58:55 -0800, Travis Griggs <tgriggs at cincom.com> wrote:
> But if I replace my source directory for the snapshot with one fetched  
> with latest git clone, it dies. I have to run autogen.sh instead of  
> configure.

The fact that the build process is different when checking out from git
rather than working with a tar file is one of my long-time frustrations
with how autoconf works.

Not only is it different, but it requires additional dependencies,
(autoconf, automake, etc.), and we can't use our standard
dependency-checking machinery for these, (since that's in configure
which we haven't bootstrapped yet). So we end up writing our *own*
dependency-checking machinery for the bootstrapping pieces in a shell
script inside of autogen.sh.

At which point I wonder what the point is of using autoconf. It seems it
would be easier to have *only* the hand-rolled shell script for all
dependency checking, giving us a consistent build process regardless of
how the source was obtained and fewer dependencies.


PS. I'm not actually advocating changing the build system for cairo here
at this point. We've got a lot of functionality already built into the
current autoconf/automake/libtool setup and it doesn't make sense to
change that.

I just thought I'd comment here since I've been thinking about build
systems lately. I went with the "hand-written shell-script configure"
approach for notmuch (http://notmuchmail.org) and it seems to be working
well so far. Though one user has claimed that it's a wheel-reinventing
waste of time, so there will likely be an experiment to try using
autoconf for notmuch soon.
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