RFC: new target-config tool

Enrico Weigelt weigelt at metux.de
Fri Aug 27 11:26:47 PDT 2010

* Daniel Macks <dmacks at netspace.org> schrieb:

> But all that shell code is just a portable way of detecting 
> it on the fly and caching the result. 

I'm totally agnostic to whether it will be written in shell code
or some compiled language (BTW: pkg-config could also have been
implemented in shell code ;-)).

> You'll still need some macros to access the data. 

No. Use functions.

> You're just moving the actual detection/caching to a centralized 
> program that gets called from ./configure (and similar) instead 
> of a centralized source that gets imported/embedded in ./configure 
> directly.

Yes. And: the property names will be standardized.
The main idea in this is that all querying goes through an central
and standardized channel, where system maintainers / distros / builders 
can do their target-specific configuration (same as now done w/ 

> The only real gain of anything centralized is the cached detection 
> data--so many different programs all on-the-fly testing compiler 
> characteristics and headers rather than sharing the "we have gcc, 
> foo.h exists, sys/bar.h does not exist", etc. 

More than that. You can control, which answers are given here.
Especially in embedded world, there are sometimes things that
can'be auto-detected easily, but need supervising by the 
distro engineers. Those would be configured _once and for all_
instead of having to tweak dozens of packages manually.

Standardization of the property names is the key point, of course.

> Seems like a great feature for autoconf to have. Since autoconf 
> is so ubiquitous already, would be a fairly prompt widespread 
> savings rather than gradual (if at all) adoption of Yet Another 
> Way to do something that is already easy to do using well-
> established tools. 

For Autoconf there will also be an own macro for that, just
als pkg-config provides one. But the basic logic should be
completely independent from autoconf.

 Enrico Weigelt, metux IT service -- http://www.metux.de/

 phone:  +49 36207 519931  email: weigelt at metux.de
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