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On 19 July 2012 22:15, Axel Kittenberger <> wrote:
> > Yes, I have to side with William on this one.  From a user
> > perspective, the output of './configure --help' is very daunting, and
> > the key custom configuration parameters (like where your non-standard
> > Lua is) are hidden n the noise.
> Did we had the same discussion a few months ago? I'll repeat my point
> back then  ;-) Yes, from a /user/ perspective who downloads and builds
> the application/library this is true. But I really like to hear the
> opinion of a distros package manager. From them the noise is useful,
> and from what I get they love autoconf built packages, since it allows
> them to all the funky stuff they need out of the box like virtual
> root. In that case the /user/ as in user will just click the package
> from the package manager of his/her choice and never be into any of
> the details of building it.

Autoconf does nothing for me as a packager, except make the build
process as opaque and indirect as possible. Passing flags to an
ifdef'd Makefile build is much nicer and easier to understand than any
autotools build.

Even the Nginx build system is more straight forward than autotools
and they use a huge pile of shell scripts.

Take a look at this:;a=blob;f=lua-5.1.4-autotoolize.patch;h=afcb3fbeea3d4542359402803c5f096270253dae;hb=HEAD

Yup, Fedora's "autotoolize" patch for Lua 5.1.4 is 40,000 lines! More
than double the size of Lua itself. That for me is just too much to
stomach, regardless of the supposed "virtues" of autotools.

I also recently saw someone submit an "autotoolize" patch for a
project I work on. The "project" is a 500 line text-processing
utility. The autotoolize patch was about 10,000 lines.

autotools is a cult!