Vladimir G. Ivanovic wrote:
on 06/28/2008 04:20 PM Mats Lidell said the following:
>>>>>> Vladimir wrote:
> Vladimir> CMake? SCons?
> Both of these build systems seems to have interesting features
> indeed. However, isn't both lacking in the respect that the end user,
> eg the user building XEmacs from sources, needs to have them?
The build requirements are really not that onerous. I don't have any
experience with either system, so I don't speak authoritatively and I'm
not pushing either option, but here's what I've found out:
SCons depends on just Python (already installed in all Linux
distributions) and CMake has no additional requirements. Both systems
are available pre-packaged for Gentoo, Fedora 9, Debian/Ubuntu and
apparently cygwin, so the overhead for a person wishing to build an
XEmacs that would use them is not high. I don't know about pre-packaged
versions for Windows or Mac OS X, but both claim to run and build
(natively) for those environments.
The tradeoff seems to be XEmacs build maintainer time (and sanity) vs a
small, possibly zero, user/builder overhead. (It turns out that both
were installed on my Gentoo and Fedora systems.) Since I'm not the
XEmacs build maintainer, officially I don't care.
That being said, I'm partial to the idea of replacing a build
environment based on make and autotools. As a person with a passing
interest in programming languages, I'd prefer SCons because it uses
Python, a full-fledged, modern, widely-used, multi-paradigm, programming
environment that comes with many, many libraries with even more
available as add-ons.
But, as I said, I'll defer to those who are directly affected by the
choice of build system: it's not my call (just as Mercurial wasn't).
Is this a serious consideration? As a Solaris and OS X user, I have
often struggled with the autotools. It seems like most free software
assumes linux. And, the autotools suffer from the same bias. Having
said that, I've become pretty good at debugging the autotools and
building almost everything that I have tried on both of my platforms
(with a few notable exceptions, subversion being one of them, what is
with all of those dependencies?!?).
So, I have very mixed feelings about this proposal. On the one hand,
I'd be delighted to never have to debug the autotools again. On the
other hand, I don't know python nor cmake. Maybe there should be a
transitional period? For the record, both python and cmake are
available for Solaris as binary packages so that should not be an issue
(and subversion is also available now, thank god). I haven't
investigated binary packages on OS X recently so maybe someone else can
fill us in.
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