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Re: Future of X packages in Debian

Around 22 o'clock on Jun 22, Dominique Dumont wrote:

> In case of a "big jump", is autotools the only alternative to imake ?

There are a few other alternatives that I know of, but I want to avoid 
ending up supporting yet another marginal build tool.  I'm pretty 
comfortable with automake at this point; it's easy to add new pieces once 
the basic libraries are added.  I suspect we'll want to create some 
x-specific .m4 files and distribute those as well so that we can shorten 
some operations while making them more general -- in particular, I'd like 
to allow automake applications to compile on imake-built libraries, and 
this will probably entail some kind of library location macro which uses 
pkg-config where available and falls back to xmkmf where not.

I think it's important to use the defacto standard unless that standard is 
significantly insufficient for the task; branching out to non-standard 
tools may be reasonable for marginal packages, but X does need to build in 
a lot of weird places and I'd hate to see X developers once again 
solely responsible for making the the build tools work.

> At work (HP) we moved rather slowly from a homebrewed system based on
> make to a build system based on cons.

It's important to realize that we're trying to avoid making an irrevocable 
decision here; once the tree is modularized, there's no reason independent 
packages must all use automake in the future.  Every maintainer should get 
to choose what tools they want to use.


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