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RE: ASDF and ./configure (was: Re: [Axiom-developer] Hyper doc searcherr

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: ASDF and ./configure (was: Re: [Axiom-developer] Hyper doc searcherror)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 11:25:15 -0500

On February 21, 2006 2:54 AM David Mentre wrote:

> ...
> I think a hand-written ./configure is the way to go, contrary
> to Bill's idea of using autoconf. I'll make my own proposal
> and then the Axiom Community will decide.

Actually, the subject came up most recently in reply to Gaby,
so I think I would prefer to call it "Gaby's idea" :)

I am not against the use of a hand-written ./configure although
this is exactly what we are already using. So in this case your
proposal amounts to making (possibly major) improvements to the
approach that we are already using.

The autoconf tools, however provide lot of standardized and
often tested ways to properly detect the environment. These
same tools can even be used on Windows. I think that it would
be a pity to have to re-invent all of this just to make the
installation of Axiom more flexible and less error prone.

The main complication is that the Axiom source distribution
consists (almost) exclusively of pamphlet files. Before these
can be processed by any other utility, they must first be
processed with noweb tangle to extract the relevant parts.
I think this means that any ./configure has to have at least
some initial part that depends on a handwritten script.

> And I should underline that I believe more in consensus than
> everything else. So the final build system will probably be a
> mix between Bill's ideas, mines and yours. :-)

I am also not that against using something like ASDF for the
lisp parts of Axiom. But I am strongly against twisting the
rest of Axiom to make it fit into this tool. It seems to me
that the configuration of the lisp part of Axiom is much less
of a problem than the other parts - most of which are in "C"
anyway. And GCL already uses autoconf to configure the build
of lisp that is embedded in the standard (non-Debian) Axiom

Bill Page.

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