Extremely poor quality of KWave's build system

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at kde.org
Wed May 24 21:25:02 UTC 2017

On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 6:50 AM, Thomas Eschenbacher
<Thomas.Eschenbacher at gmx.de> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I have no idea what all these complains are about. Nobody ever
> complained about the quality of Kwave's build system in the last 18
> years in such a way and nobody had a serious problem with the dependencies.

Please observe the behaviour of KWave's configuration process when one
or more of those dependencies are not installed.

> The dependencies are well documented in the README file, in the online
> documentation (docbook), they are clearly visible for any developer with
> average skills in the Gentoo ebuild, in the RPM spec file...
> what else should I do to prevent you from failing? If you would have
> read any single line of the input files mentioned above then you would
> not have failed.

As part of making the CI system work I'm running a very large number
of builds (essentially every single entry at
Therefore looking into files contained within each project's
repository isn't really a scalable approach (we're talking 100+ builds

I rely on the output of CMake entirely and on it behaving properly and
imagine packagers are in a similar situation.

> The only thing that comes into my mind is "RTFM" !!!
> I would surely have reworked things if someone would have asked me
> *POLITELY* and with reasonable arguments. But if I only get comments
> like "fuck you, all your stuff sucks" - I WILL DEFINITELY NOT CHANGE ANY

Sorry if that's how you interpreted it.
My mail was based off my experiences and the comments of another
developer who looked at the CMake code when I mentioned the issues I
was having with KWave.

I've spent quite a few hours fighting with KWave's build system due to
these issues.

> I fully agree to Albert.
> Probably you Ben are just the wrong person for performing such tasks and
> should be removed from that "build system" team...
> regards,
>    Thomas


> Albert Astals Cid wrote:
>> El dimarts, 23 de maig de 2017, a les 19:53:29 CEST, Ben Cooksley va escriure:
>>> Hi all,
>>> I've been working on the new CI system recently, and as part of this
>>> have run into a few issues with some projects. Most of these have been
>>> easily resolved.
>>> KWave however is another ball park entirely and has to date cost at
>>> least 5 base system image rebuilds (quite likely higher) and quite a
>>> bit of time. After all that I still haven't got it to pass the
>>> configure stage. This is due to it's build system failing immediately
>>> as soon as it fails to find a single dependency.
>>> This is improper behaviour for a build system, which should check for
>>> everything, then give a listing of hard required and suggested
>>> dependencies which are missing before bailing out. From what i'm told
>>> this is due to severe abuse of the FindPkgConfig() macro that CMake
>>> provides.
>>> Thomas, can you please (completely) rewrite the whole CMake build
>>> system KWave uses to behave correctly?
>>> I'm revoking KWave's CI privileges from this point forward as I don't
>>> want to waste any further time on this.
>> Let me try to comment on the wording of this email first.
>> I think this is not the correct way to handle the problem.
>> If you can't get ultra-frustrated and then say "fuckit i'm banning you from
>> CI", that lowers a lot motivation on the other side because you didn't even
>> gave them the possibility of "defending" themselves.
>> I think a more positive way would have been to stop before you get ultra-
>> frustrated and say something like "I can't get this to work, please have a
>> look, if this doesn't get fixed in X days we may have to think about removing
>> kwave from CI".
>> In essence "it's the same", but wording matters.
>> On the actual problem, as a workaround, have you tried "apt-get build-dep
>> kwave" or the "synonymous" command in whatever OS the image you're using has?
>> Cheers,
>>   Albert
>>> Regards,
>>> Ben Cooksley
>>> KDE Sysadmin
> --
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Thomas Eschenbacher                       <Thomas.Eschenbacher at gmx.de>

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