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Re: config.guess and freedom (was: 1.8 and mkdir_p)

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: config.guess and freedom (was: 1.8 and mkdir_p)
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 08:49:49 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

Harlan Stenn wrote:
> The good news and bad news is that your position is a POLICY decision.
> I am talking about a MECHANISM tool.

Agreed.  But it is not a mechanism of automake.  Nor should the
autotools support it since it embodies a diametrically opposed
philosophy from the one the autotools supports.  A table driven method
of system identification would be in opposition to the design
architecture of the autotools.

> Well, in the old days we used sysIII and sysV in various incarnations to
> avoid coding a different value for every reseller of those OSes.  Simliarly
> for the different BSD releases.

And those days of #ifdef SYSV were terrible days for portability.  You
say resellers as if they were truly the same (and some were), but most
were true forks.  Unfortunately it sounds like you want to recreate
that environment again today.

I still live on one of those OSs which is similar, but slightly
different, from other systems.  Porting software to it is always a
problem.  Especially when someone has a table of systems to determine
whether to call /bin/grep or /usr/bin/grep or whatever and does not
have HP-UX in the table.  I am always hacking on people's misguided
attempts at portability.  And life is interesting all over again with
HP-UX on ia64.

> If the releases are all that similar, why not use:
>  i686-GnuLinux-*
> as your test, and provide the "popular" distributions in the 3rd field?
> The "magic" command has a large database of selections on it; using this
> sort of mechanism should greatly ease the burder on the config.*
> maintainers.

That sounds like the architecture and philosophy of imake.


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