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RE: [Axiom-developer] build un-portability

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] build un-portability
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 22:48:23 -0500

On November 10, 2006 10:23 PM Gaby wrote:
> ...
> Bill Page wrote: 
> | I am afraid that you have also just stated the reason why
> | embedded space in file names always cause problems for unix
> | based tools - because the developers give this a very low
> | priority. But it is a serious issue when porting to both
> | Windows and MAC where spaces in file names are common. At
> | very least we should try not to write code that we know is
> | not portable.
> In this particular case, I suspect that Axiom will be best built
> under Cygwin or variants where Unix convertion is quite dominant
> (I know you can use the Windows style, but very often they cause
> troubles).

Well, at the moment Axiom can not be built under Cygwin because
GCL cannot be built under Cygwin. Maybe someday we will find
someone who wants to solve the problems of building GCL under

On Windows GCL and Axiom (only AXIOMsys) are currently built under
MSYS/MinGW which provides a native Windows environment without
conversion. File name with spaces are suppored but some of the
unix-specific system commands on which Axiom depends (e.g. 'rm'
and 'cat'), another source of un-portability, have to be emulated
in such a way as to parse blanks in a non-standard way.

> And it is just easy to fix the environment.

I am not sure what you mean "fix the environment". Do you mean
target only linux-based systems for Axiom?

> In this particular case.  I'm not saying Axiom should not
> support them.  I'm saying it really has low priority on list
> of things to do.


> From experience, I know that for GCC we had people trying to
> build GCC with embedded colons.  That was a pain in the ass
> and usually led to obscure codes.  My personal opinion is that
> the codes should not be obscured just to support exotic stuff.

I suppose, but I suspect that the codes would not have been
so obscured if the original code had not made unnecessary
assumptions about the character set from which file names are

> | Speaking of your "list of things to do in buid-improvments":
> | Have you already or are you planning to publish this list?
> I suspect a good part of it is in
> The rest keeps poping when I try different ideas in different
> local trees. I'll upate  Some of
> them are not really related to build machinery.

After you update, I would like to
publish it on the Axiom Wiki. Ok?

Bill Page.

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