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On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM, Craig Barnes <> wrote:
> 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.

by ifdef'd makefile you mean gmake or pmake dependent, or actually
processing it with cpp? could you show me an example of such a
makefile that covers the amount of architectures autoconf does? i
would like to see how it manages to provide compatibility without
indirection and complexity

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

well, what runtime do you use to probe the system for features other
than shell? this ties in to the previous question: show me a project
with as many targets so that i can objectively compare the two. i
would assume that's the expected course of action before deciding one
approach is inferior -- not withstanding holding the opinion that some
autoconf targets aren't relevant

> Take a look at this:
> 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.

in those 40,000 lines you also counted, and other scripts
that aren't tailored for each autoconf deployment -- they are either
generated or duplicated amongst projects. have you ever maintained a
project that uses autoconf? i ask because you're showing your
unfamiliarity by not discerning between "object" and "source"

> 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!

i have no answer for this last line because you've completely dropped
any illusion of having technical merit to your critique