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RE: [xougen] FW: imake status in Xouvert

From: Eric Anholt
Subject: RE: [xougen] FW: imake status in Xouvert
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 14:12:33 -0700

On Sat, 2003-08-30 at 02:11, David Ross wrote:
> Thanks Eric,
> So if I understand what you are thinking is that since imake is working,
> and working well for X, your thinking is why mess with it?  I guess my
> next question is that do you need to perform major surgery on the
> autotools stuff, but there is no porting needed for the imake config
> files?
> I read somewhere, I think at the autotools website <g>, that imake is
> more project specific and has dependencies across various directories,
> but autoconf is able to work that stuff out as in it is not dependant on
> other config and source files.  My take was basically that imake was
> faster, made smaller make files, but at the expense of flexibility.  So,
> if we are breaking up the X distribution to make it more modular etc so
> that people can only compile what they want we are wanting to add
> flexibility ... So will/does imake offer the kind of flexibility that we
> want or will need?  Or is this even an issue?
> Thanks again,
> David

[context lost to top posting]

I didn't answer you when you emailed me this privately because I'm not
sure what really you're asking.  I think imake is the right tool for the
job because it exists and works and allows portability which is
difficult to achieve with automake.  The imake changes I've had to make
as the XFree86 maintainer for FreeBSD have been minimal and obvious for
the most part.  The autoconf changes I've had to make as maintainer for
a couple of other things have been annoying and sometimes non-obvious. 
The only hard thing I can think of with imake was making it use the
system's tools which normally are built from xc/config/ when a make
World is done.  In the end, it was basically copy'n'paste work and not
complicated.  There may be issues with splitting parts of the tree out,
but I think it will be much easier with imake than with autotools.  I
can't say more on tree-splitting issues, since I don't think the Xouvert
organizers know what they're doing with it either.

I have yet to hear an argument of what autotools will do better than
imake in the case of a project that is basically XFree86.  Just using
the term "flexibility," I have no idea what you're referring to.  Again,
a summary of the current imake build system is that it exists, is fast,
is very portable, and is relatively easy to maintain (IMO).  Oh, and
from the perspective of a package maintainer it has fewer dependencies
(perl, which I believe is not true of current CVS, compared to autotools
which would require automake, autoconf, libtool, and gmake at least)

Eric Anholt                                address@hidden          
http://people.freebsd.org/~anholt/         address@hidden

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