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Re: Linux-kernel style output

From: Alexandre Duret-Lutz
Subject: Re: Linux-kernel style output
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 10:04:09 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Hi !

While I appreciate the effort, I'm afraid I'm not overly fond of
this approach.

- Output format

  It seems people have different needs.  Last time it was
  discussed, people mostly complained about the if/then/depcomp
  wrapper Automake outputs around the compiler, and wanted to
  see a single line with the compilation command.

  A source file can be compiled several times (to different
  objects) with different options.  Showing only the source file
  without showing the object being compiled is ambiguous.

  To debug some errors, people will need a simple way to show the 
  command line being executed (without rerunning configure, or 
  spending time inferring it from config.log).  An example is
  when you want to rerun the compilation command with -E to debug 
  some preprocessing mess.  Maybe you could turn AMPRETTYECHO into
  a Makefile variable, or something along these lines.

- bloat

  We fighted bloat a couple of years ago, for some
  project where the generated was several megabytes
  large (and still is quite big).  Adding one line for each rule
  really is a lot for such a project !  I think at least Automake
  shouldn't do so my default, but only if the support macro is
  called by the user.  (It also makes sense to let the users
  decide whether they want to support this --enable-p-c switch,
  since they'd have to fix all their custom rules.)

- Template maintenance 

  The am files templates certainly get a bit loaded, but I'm not
  sure how this can be helped with this scheme.

There is another approach that could be a lot less intrusive and
IMHO more generic and useful: pipe the output of make through a
filter to format it as you wish.  (I don't think using a wrapper
for make is more difficult than passing an option to configure.)

We could of course tune the am templates a bit to ease such
output processing.  For instance adding a short `$V' in front of
the interesting part of a command so that something like `make
V=": grepme &&"' may help post processing the output.  Or
something like this.  I guess other things might be needed.  But
at least it appears this wouldn't cause code duplication in the
template, would have a limited bloat overhead, and yet would
allow many style of reformatting.

Combining such a make wrapper with an initial `make -n'
could also help you with the two goals on your roadmap!
Alexandre Duret-Lutz

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