decisions on building infrastructure

Isaac Jones
Wed, 04 Jun 2003 12:16:19 -0400


Most of the discussion about the "library infrastructure" has been
about whether to start with a build system or a distribution system.
The solution to that discussion, in my mind, is to come at it from
both sides and meet in the middle.  Peter Simons will be working on a
proposal for distribution, and we'll be working together to integrate
some kind of package / build / install / distribute mechanism.

With that in mind, we need to make some decisions about what the build
infrastructure will look like.  To recap, I propose that we have 

1) a "default" makefile system.  Alastair Reid is working on one based
on fptools' makefiles.  We can provide a tool to generate a skeleton
makefile system for new libraries.

2) an abstraction layer, perhaps like "distutils" for python combined
with Debian's deiban/rules file which will allow us to build layered
tools which will: 

- Make it so that 3rd party library authors don't _have_ to change
their build system
- Make it easier for packagers to make Debian / Redhat / FreeBSD
- Make it easier for 3rd parties to distribute their libraries on
their home pages (probably in a source tarball)
- Make it easier for end users to download, install, and keep up to
date 3rd party libraries

My proposal is on the wiki (see URL below).  Does anyone have comments
about the proposal?  Does anyone think that something similar to what
Python has is a bad idea?