decisions on building infrastructure

Manuel M T Chakravarty
Thu, 05 Jun 2003 17:29:00 +1000 (EST)

Ross Paterson <> wrote,

> 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
> form.
> 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.

Being a 3rd party library author, I am worried.  Gtk+HS, for
example, has a quite sophisticated build system.  Adapting
that to anything else would be quite some work.

IMHO it is nice to have a build infrastructure that people
can fall back on if they haven't got anything else, but to
prescribe anything won't work.