decisions on building infrastructure

Ross Paterson
Wed, 4 Jun 2003 18:55:23 +0100

On Wed, Jun 04, 2003 at 12:16:19PM -0400, Isaac Jones wrote:
> 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
>  packages,
> - 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

Sorry to be prosaic, but I would prefer to start at the bottom level,
because there's a pressing need for a build system, and ideas there can be
tested with code.  I think an important requirement is that most of the
build system should be shared, either distributed separately or bundled
with the compilers, or a bit of each, but definitely not duplicated in
each library.  The library author should supply the absolute minimum
information that is specific to the library, preferably in a declarative

I'm not too worried about 3rd party library authors being forced to change
their build systems; nobody has one that works with all 3 compilers
(except maybe Yale).  And the information required by the common build
system should be minimal.