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Re: Creating plain Makefiles with automake

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: Creating plain Makefiles with automake
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 10:28:12 +0200

On 04/25/2013 04:49 AM, Miles Bader wrote:
> The current _user-interface_ ("./configure ...ARGS...; make") also has
> the advantage of making it pretty clear where one specifies
> configuration options, and retaining those options during normal
> rebuilds.
> [SNIP]
To add my 2 cents to all that has been said so far (with which I basically
agree): in the long term, it *might* be nice to move some configuration
steps at make runtime, in order to take advantage of make parallelism and
automatic dependency resolution.  With that, one could run:

  $ make config && make

instead of

  $ ./configure && make

But that is IMO not just a patch/hack that can be added on top of the
autotools; it would require careful design, extensive testing, a transition
plan ("I do I convert my project from 'configure' to 'make config'?") and a
way to get proper user feedback (especially from "power users" and distro
packagers) before finalizing APIs and design.  I fear no-one in the
Autotools community has the time to commit to such a work ATM.

> With a "make-only" approach, where do I specify configuration options?
> "make OPT1=yes ..."?  If so, do I need to re-specify those arguments
> every time I invoke make?  If not (if they're somehow magically
> recorded somewhere), do options specified to different make
> invocations accumulate?  If so, how do I reset them?  ...etc etc...
> The configure/build split actually seems pretty useful...
Indeed.  Albeit the all-or-nothing nature of configure is quite an
annoyance, and sometimes a burden.  Sure, caching and the possibility
to preset configuration variables help a lot there, but that is more
a (well-working) band-aid than a proper long-term solution, IMVHO.

> [Having a way of making a "default" configure happen automatically if
> one just does make without configure would be useful, I suppose, but
> that probably just needs a trivial little Makefile which get
> overwritten by configure.]
> -miles


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