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Re: porting to GNUstep from OSX

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: porting to GNUstep from OSX
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 11:48:11 +0100 (BST)

> I am confused (a normal state).  Why would you convert to GNUstep except 
> to make the package portable?  It seems likely you will also need to use 
> autoconf as part of the portability.

The core GNUstep packages use autoconf themselves to install portably on 
various platforms.

But once you have installed them on a platform, packages built on top of
them do not need to use autoconf and usually do not need any
platform-dependent configuration.

gnustep-make allows you to forget about compiler / linker / library flags
- your GNUmakefile usually contains very simple code detailing what you
want to build and how, and it's gnustep-make's task to build it on that
platform using the platform's specific flags - you use the high level
GNUmakefile `API' which is completely portable.

gnustep-base gives you a consistent portable layer giving you all the
basic standard functionality (strings, memory, files, network
communications, dynamic loading, etc).  You don't need to know which libc
version of which libraries / functions are used internally by gnustep-base
- you use the high level API which is completely portable.

gnustep-gui gives you a consistent portable layer to write your GUI.  
Similar comments apply.

So you don't have many reasons to use autoconf, unless you need to use a
special third-party library/package outside of gnustep (say, a specific
audio or image C library for example).  In that case, to detect this
specific bit, you might want to use autoconf.  In most cases, this is not
needed.  In some cases, the choice is very simple and you can do without
autoconf, a couple of trivial makefile custom lines might be enough.  In
other cases, yes you need to use autoconf.

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