Message from discussion Configure.pl and the history of the world
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Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 09:27:59 +0100
To: Larry Wall <la...@wall.org>
Subject: Re: Configure.pl and the history of the world
Cc: Perl6 Internals <perl6-intern...@perl.org>
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <20040317013126.GA25518@wall.org>
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From: h.m.br...@hccnet.nl (H.Merijn Brand)
On Wed 17 Mar 2004 02:31, Larry Wall <la...@wall.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 16, 2004 at 07:47:25PM -0500, Dan Sugalski wrote:
> : Second, we're running over the same problems in system configuration
> : that perl (and python, and ruby, for that matter) have already run
> : across. Moreover, we're making the same decisions, only...
> : differently. This is silly both because we're re-inventing the wheel
> : and we're making the wheel with metric nuts instead of english.
> : We could go dig through perl's configure every time we add a new
> : environment probe, but that'll get really old really quick. Instead,
> : what I'd like is for someone (Oh, Brent... :) to go through perl's
> : configure and dig out the tests in it, as well as the defaults that
> : it has and just get all the config variables in once and for all.
> : While some of what's in there we don't have to deal with (joys of C89
> : as a minimum requirement) there's a lot of hard-won platform
> : knowledge in there and ignoring it's foolish.
> Er, yes, but...you might actually do better by looking at all the
> metaconfig units that go into generating Configure. Then you'd at
> least know what all the dependencies are.
Better even, the metaconfig units are loaded with comments that do
not make it to the final Configure script.
> Oh, and metaconfig will gladly do the work of weeding out the tests
> you're not interested in.
But the metaconfig units still hold the code and comment, so you don't
have to #ifdef/comment-out those unwanted parts and clutter the code
> Not using metaconfig (or something like it) would be the biggest
> mistake. It's actually next to impossible to maintain something like
> a Configure script directly.
Who would maintain it? I've got no problem (yet) with maintaining it
for perl5, and I'm even working on backward compatibility for 5.005._xx,
so Configure and hints are usable for the complete actual range, and
thus save huge amounts of backporting time
The problem is that there are only a few knowledgable/interested in
doing this, ehh, less interesting part of the project (I still like it)
H.Merijn Brand Amsterdam Perl Mongers (http://amsterdam.pm.org/)
using perl-5.6.1, 5.8.0, & 5.9.x, and 806 on HP-UX 10.20 & 11.00, 11i,
AIX 4.3, SuSE 8.2, and Win2k. http://www.cmve.net/~merijn/
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