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Re: Remove cdrtools

On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 07:11:19PM -0500, Steve Greenland wrote:

> So you chose to use a function not reliably available. Sounds like bad
> planning to me.

More than a year ago the plan was that we'll support Debian Sarge only.
Then a couple of weeks ago our project partner said they'll be using
RHEL no matter what. So much for planning.

> I spend quite a bit of my life working on non-Linux platforms (as well
> as a variety of Linux ones). I've built *lots* of free software on these
> platforms. 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[1], in ways that are hard to debug and damn
> near impossible to fix.

A couple of years ago I used to be an AIX/Solaris admin and I had quite
the opposite experiences. Installing software that used autoconf was
generally painless, building the software simultaneously on 3 platforms
from a common source (NFS) just worked almost always.

On the other hand, sw with custom build systems were always a pain:
usually they had no idea how to build a shared lib on AIX, they did not
support building outside of the source directory etc.

In case of bugs, autoconf helps a _lot_ since you know that every build
system looks the same, if you find a bug (like libtool being notoriously
broken on AIX) the same bug will be present in every package and the
same fix can be applied etc. On the other hand, all custom build systems
had their own bugs that required a lot more time to investigate.

autoconf/automake/libtool are just like many traditional UNIX tools:
they are all sharp knifes which can cut you deep if you use them badly,
but can also help a lot if you use them wisely.


     MTA SZTAKI Computer and Automation Research Institute
                Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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