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Re: Regarding the JAVA primary

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Regarding the JAVA primary
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:06:19 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-10-28)

Hi John,

* John Calcote wrote on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 08:25:22PM CEST:
> Since the current implementation of the JAVA primary is not managing
> individual source/object dependencies (something that's difficult to
> do anyway because of inner and anonymous class definitions), would
> it not be prudent to remove the restriction regarding needing to
> specify all source files individually in -- at least for
> the JAVA primary?

I guess that would be possible, at least technically.

> Builds in the Java world generally specify source files found within
> a subtree using a globbing mechanism, with optionally specified
> inclusions and exclusions. And the layout of that subtree defines
> the packages to which classes belong. Would it not be fair to say
> that all files found matching the source specification within a
> specified subtree are distributed within the directory layout to
> which they belong? In other words, distribution (for Java sources
> only) would include the same set of files specified in the Java
> source globbing pattern.

The issue is that it goes against one principle otherwise followed
throughout Automake: the user cannot have "junk" files in her source nor
her build tree that match the patterns.  At least for some users, this
is a feature; I for one have unfinished files in my source trees, or
even in a version control branch.  I do admit though that distributed
version control makes this less relevant.

> I recognize that this is a significant deviation from existing
> Autotools methodology, but I'm not sure we can make any real forward
> progress in Autotools Java builds without making a few such
> concessions.

We can have new semantics; in case of doubt we can enable them under a
new Automake option only.

> A problem I foresee is providing the globbing functionality to
> makefile commands. We'd almost need a new auxiliary script (like
> install-sh) to generate lists of files from such glob specs.

If it's not very complex it can be done in a makefile variable

I haven't understood the JAR and WAR notes you wrote about.


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