Build system for KDE4

Michael Pyne pynm0001 at
Tue Jun 14 03:59:26 BST 2005

On Monday 13 June 2005 22:23, David Johnson wrote:
> On Monday 13 June 2005 05:01 am, Guillaume Laurent wrote:
> > Or more likely, that it's based on 'make' and sh, which every unix
> > platform has installed by debault.
> This is a big advantage which shouldn't be discounted too quickly. Make
> and bourne shell are two nearly universal programming tools, and one
> could reasonable expect most (unix) developers to be familiar with
> them.

Huh?  We don't in general directly interact with make and sh anyways.'s are for the most part foo_SOMETHING = blah $(foo2) which isn't 
anywhere near a Makefile syntax.  Sure you can add make-specific stuff if you 
want, but for the most part it's not exposed to us.

Likewise with sh.  I think there are much more people familiar (or could 
quickly become familiar) with Python, Ruby, et al. than could use m4.  If we 
use sh for familiarity then we get into the issue of various shell-specifics, 
like features which work with shell foo but not shell bar.  I think if you're 
experienced enough to deal with sh portability issues then you can handle 
some Python. :P

Besides, there's no reason that people have to be forced into using the 
language syntax, there's no reason that if the build system were written in 
Python or Ruby or what have you that it couldn't still read and 
some form of simple configure script.

But either way, make and sh experience is bogus, no one actually uses those 
levels.  It's all m4 macros and automake-hocus-pocus.

> On the other hand, much fewer developers are familar with Python 
> or other  high level scripting languages.

You need to back this up, I call bullshit.  Typing "updatedb" into a shell 
script to be called from cron does not an sh expert make.  Besides that I can 
almost guarantee that use of shell in configure scripts in KDE is almost 
always copied from somewhere else until it works.  Few people actually have a 
clue what they're doing. :P

> I don't want to detract from any solutions using Python or other
> language, but we must make sure we don't create too steep of a learning
> curve for developers who don't want to sit down and learn a new
> language just to get their C++ application installed.

They can program C++, but they can't handle (Python|Ruby|foo) with 
instructions and dozens of other configure scripts to copy?

I guarantee people wouldn't be fleeing autotools left and right if it were 
easy to use.

 - Michael Pyne
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