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Re: How many packages use autotools?

From: Roger Leigh
Subject: Re: How many packages use autotools?
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 22:19:23 +0100
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Bernd Jendrissek <address@hidden> writes:

> I am wondering how widespread the use of the autotools is - particularly
> among projects that are *not* GNU or other Free Software, or even "Open
> Source" but not-quite Free.  IOW how many in-house completely locked-up
> proprietary packages use them?
> It's probably a bit hard to tell, these packages being uber-secret and
> all.  Any (gu)estimates?

I use it in all my Free software packages.  I also use it at work, for
non-free commercial stuff.

TBH, a lot of commercial software has archaic build processes, since
there's not the same requirement for repeated building of source on
multiple platforms--there's one build and the binaries are
distributed.  Therefore, on DOS many projects are built by hand or
with batch files and on UNIX, a plain Makefile or shell script will
often do.  I'd guess it's used, but far, far less than for Free

Free software, being distributed primarily as source, must build
conveniently and quickly on any user's system.  That's the main reason
for using autoconf (and automake etc.).  Personally, I've spent
several hundred hours working on the gimp-print build infrastructure
alone.  For the stuff I do for work, the company doesn't care how it
builds as long as they can supply a set of binaries to customers.  In
addition, commercial pressures mean that there simply isn't time to
devote to such things--which is just one reason why Free software is
so oftern of much better quality.


- -- 
Roger Leigh

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