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Re: [Axiom-developer] HyperDoc

From: Gabriel Dos Reis
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] HyperDoc
Date: 09 Apr 2007 16:31:18 -0500

Waldek Hebisch <address@hidden> writes:

| Gabriel Dos Reis wrote:
| > Quoting Waldek Hebisch <address@hidden>:
| > > Could you elaborate: you say that relative paths are needed on
| > > Windows but you did not say why?
| > 
| > try to build Axiom out of source under MingW.
| > 
| > It gave me lots headache, only to discover later that the absolute
| > path seen by configure is not the one other tools were expecting.
| > A workaround was to use "pwd -W" -- only under mingw, because -W
| > is a non-standard option, only to get into another whoop.
| >
| I did not try to build Axiom 

That might be why we have a different opinion on the issue.

| (I tried GCL first, and it seems that
| GCL build fails unless you have the exact versions of software
| used by Mike Thomas).  I know that Mysys (and Cygwin) is remapping
| files (I hit the problem once).  MingW executables expect native
| Windows paths,

I've installed many other tools, and I did not have to specifiy the
exact drive letter. 

| but the build tools are Mysys executables and remap
| paths.  So if yonemix calls to  MingW and Mysys executables
| (which happens if you run freshly build MingW binaries) one
| have trouble.  My solution was to use paths with explicit drive
| letter: AFAIK such paths are not remapped.

I tried that one to with my USE key; did not work.
Anyway; the issue is solved now.  

If you want to re-solve it, please do so but please don't break my
builds, otherwise I'll be very unhappy.


| Relative $AXIOM have to change when you change directory.

Yes, but there are only *two* such variables and they are always set to
the same syntactic variable which Autoconf computes automatically for
me.  One of the variables need to be changed any, where absolute path
or not.

| This
| means that some variable settings have to be repeated.

I consider this a feature -- Axiom, was designed that way, whether you
use absolute path or not.  So this is a ed herring.

| Passing
| of filenames to programs working in different directory become
| harder.  Also relative paths are likely to hardwire relative positions
| of directories, making change harder.

That does not follow.  Sorry.  Currently, that is what Axiom does, but
it does not mean that it has to do that because of relative path.  As
a matter of fact all the hardwiring of paths predate my work.

| Recently I noticed that in Lisp relative paths behave in funny way
| (it looks that Axiom is frequently calling truename to make
| paths absolute and avoid problem).

in several places, yes.  That predates the relative path support.
But please describe the problem in detail.  Notice also that GCL will
accept that you designate an "alternate" system directory with the
-lib option.
If you save to disk, many Lisp systems will forget forever where they
come from.  

| So there are costs (IMHO substantial) to relative paths.

Please be more specific; I've run into many build path issues, almost
all of them can be traced by to absolute path.  If there are costs, it
is one due to NOT coding the components without assming relative path.
Again, none of the components need absolute paths.  They just care
that a path is valid.

| Later:
| > Oh, yeah, one more thing: mingw uses windows native tools, in
| > particular options  start with forward slash.  I don't remember the
| > exact details, but at some point some of the absolute paths (using
| > Unix-style notation) started being interpreted as options; it isn't funny.
| Explicit drive letter should cure this problem.

It did not for me.

I don't intend to spend more resources on a problem I consider solved.
However, you're free to do so, but please don't break my builds; I've
burnt enough cycles in that issue.

-- Gaby

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