Configure/build separation

Conrad Parker conrad at
Thu Aug 17 22:20:24 EDT 2006

On Thu, Aug 17, 2006 at 03:29:00PM +0100, Duncan Coutts wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-08-17 at 14:50 +0100, Neil Mitchell wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > First off, being a windows user, having a configure/build separation
> > seems a bit unusual.
> It's more for developers I'd say. It means you can configure once and
> then build, modify code, build, modify code etc etc without having to
> reconfigure each time.

That makes a lot of sense for (say) GNU autotools, where a fairly
straightforward configure check for a few libraries can take a minute or
so. With a faster configuration system (such as cabal), it may not be

I was very impressed with SCons when I ported some C code to use it
rather than autotools -- the scons version configured and built (in
one step, 'scons' with no arguments) in less time than autotools took to
./configure :)

> > In amongst all this waffle, it also checks for Happy - an absolute
> > essential build dependancy. It doesn't find that, like it doesn't find
> > plenty of other things, and continues straight along. Then when I try
> > to buid, it fails.
> It would be great if it worked out what was needed and only checked for
> those, and then all failures could be reported.

perhaps the developer could specify (in the .cabal file or so) which tools
are actually required to build; I'm guessing this would require extra
fields (not covered by build-depends or extensions). Perhaps something
like build-tools or required-tools/optional-tools?


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