[Steve Greenland] > My experience is that the ones whose build instructions say "edit the > makefile to pick your platform and compiler" compile and work, and > when they don't, they're easy to fix. The ones that use autoconf tend > to blow up on non-Linux, in ways that are hard to debug and damn > near impossible to fix. This, as you note in your footnote, is probably attributable entirely to whether the developers actually have a clue that there is more to Unix than Linux/i386. The style of uncommenting defines in a Makefile, versus autoconf, is an _effect_, not a cause - the effect only _appears_ to be causal because the Unix-ignorant don't tend to use the former style. There is, either way, no substitute for awareness of portability issues, and no substitute for actual development experience on multiple Unix platforms. As for useless autoconf tests - have you looked at how autoconf is used? You pick the tests you think you need. It's not like the system forces you to use a certain range of obsolete baseline tests. A huge number of test macros are provided, but nobody forces you to use them.
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