[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really sun vs dec/apollo --> X and NeWS ]

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Fri Sep 15 05:44:54 AEST 2017

Definitely getting off-topic here ...

Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen at sdaoden.eu> wrote:

>  |Libtool for sure. Autoconf is something you have to come to a negotiated
>  |truce with and then it's OK. :-)
> I cannot seem to reach that state.  I see that the m4 directory of
> gawk v4.1.4 contains no less than 46 files with a total of 312 KB.
> On top of that the root directory contains some configure related
> files which sum up to about 500 KB.

Gawk is light-weight compared to most projects that use gnulib (e.g,
grep).  Much of what you point out is boilerplate placed there by
the autotools.  The only file(s) I, as a developer, have to mess with
are the configure.ac files.

> I do not know how much manual work was necessary for the files in
> m4,

Once it's set up, you just ignore it, and update the files whenever
there's a new autoconf / automake / gettext / libtool release.

I've been using autoconf since 1.x days, so I'm very used to it.
I also find it to be much less aggravation than CMake-based projects,
where if something craps out during the cmake run, you essentially
must wipe out the directory and re-extract the tarball to start over.

>  And when i look into the missing_d of gawk
> i cannot help to wonder what all that is for.

Much of it is probably obsolete. Some things date back to the days
when some systems had strchr() and others had index()...

> But of course, what is the alternative?

I don't see one. CMake doesn't really cut it for me.  For make
problems, port GNU Make; it's very portable, since it's one of the
base items for many GNU projects.

I know it runs on Solaris 9.

> Plan9 shows an impressive beauty regarding this topic, but it, of
> course, is exclusive to a current Plan9.

No arguments there, but unfortunately, Plan 9 is a very self-contained
sandbox.  Few of us get to live there all the time.


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