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Re: Auto-tools & Win32 & Borland C++ Builder

From: Tom Tromey
Subject: Re: Auto-tools & Win32 & Borland C++ Builder
Date: 23 May 2001 15:09:03 -0600

>>>>> "Guido" == Guido Draheim <address@hidden> writes:

Guido> alternatives? I mean free, documented, mature, easy
Guido> alternatives to be seen?

I'm unaware of any.  There is Metaconf (the Perl thing), but in my
experience it isn't deeply better than autoconf.  It is different, but
less well documented and with a smaller user community.

Guido> Personally, the restriction of one for every(!!)
Guido> subdirectory has been given me quite a headache in large
Guido> projects too.

We've done a lot of work to ease this restriction in 1.5.

Guido> Anyway, Axel/Michel, using autoconf and libtool is often almost
Guido> easy to get working inside the common older setups, however
Guido> using automake in the tasks, well, it's probably not best
Guido> suited, just as you stated, on the other hand, looking at the
Guido> knowledge built into automake, then I doubt we can see an
Guido> automake-replacement soon. Who's going to write it?

Of course I disagree that automake is unsuitable when converting older
programs to use the auto tools.  I have done it many times.  It is
true that automake has more limitations than, say, autoconf.  And I'm
sure these limitations can be frustrating.

As to rewriting automake, I think that is a waste of time.  I think
that make is simply not a good enough base to merit building anything
else on top of it.

Some people will probably step in and say that GNU make is much
better, etc.  And they're right.  With GNU make you could probably
write something like automake as simply a set of Makefiles which get

Still, my dislike of make goes deep.  I would like to see the next
generation of free software use something much better, not merely make
with bandaids and flashing lights.  But, again, who will write it?

And, yes, there are tons of make replacements.  All have failed to
impress.  (Odin is very interesting feature-wise, but the syntax is


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