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Re: Common to use Autotools just to avoid Makefile work even if no porta

From: Nic Ferrier
Subject: Re: Common to use Autotools just to avoid Makefile work even if no portability concerns???
Date: 17 Apr 2003 02:29:07 +0100

address@hidden (Bob Proulx) writes:

> address@hidden wrote:
> > I need to confess a dirty little secret.
> >
> > I don't really worry about running my program
> > on anything other than Red Hat Linux (for now).
> In some ways I am in a similar situation.  I don't care about
> non-POSIX systems.  If <stdlib.h> does not exist then I am not going
> to work around it.  Therefore I don't typically use the full power of
> autoconf.  Just enough to get CC and CFLAGS defined properly for my
> system.  Just enough to define the things automake internally uses.
> But I do use automake for its advantages.
> > However, I hope to never write another Makefile
> > again.
> Makefiles are not so bad.  But I do think that automake gives you a
> lot of leverage driving make and Makefiles.
> > Is it common/OK to just use Autotools because it:
> >
> > 1. looks cool
> Yes.  Jammin' with the in crowd.  ;-)
> > 2. avoids Makefile work
> Yes.  Drives 'make' nicely.
> > 3. people expect it
> Yes.  People expect it because it makes their life easier.  If you
> start off using the autotools then things scale for later.  Someone
> else might come along who does care about portability.  With the
> framework in place it is easy to keep going with it.
> > 4. Did I mention it avoids Makefile work?
> Yes.
> > Even if I don't have big portability concerns?
> Maybe not today.  But perhaps later.  Regardless it provides a nice
> build framework.  If it bothers you then you can always say you are
> planning for the future.

You've forgotten one... some admins perfer to build stuff
themselves, rather than use RPMs or debian or solaris packages (this
is especially true of cutting edge software that hasn't been reliably
packaged yet).

Most linux system admins (and plenty of other un*x ones) have
experience of building stuff with autotools. They expect configure as
a user interface.

So it's a usability issue as well.


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