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Re: xwpe -> want autoconf? (fwd)

Dennis Payne wrote:
> What do you mean by autoconf support for xwpe-1.5.x?  autoconf is
> already used to compile xwpe.  As for using it for project files,
> I don't see how that would be useful.  Personally what I was thinking
> of for project files is to make them full blown makefiles.  For the
> most part users would just add files and perhaps edit the variables
> (like CFLAGS).  If however you wanted to add support for a different
> compiler you could by making a new rule.  Or you edit the rules for
> some weird modifications you need.

With all due respect, but there is difference between  "uses autoconf" 
and "full autoconf". The difference is the package user who is in
the latter supposed to never see a Makefile or shell script or even
the options for the C compiler in use - if anything does not work out
with the defaults, the package user should just check for `configure`
options to try out. "uses autoconf" makes life easier for the
developers where sane defaults are detected with ac-macros, while the
"full autoconf" scheme does address even non-developers who want to
"install from source" - they are told to just call the sequence
"configure --prefix=$HOME && make && make install". There are even
GUI wrappers that call "configure --help" in the background to look
for extended options to set, imagine that...

Well, there are set of different characteristics attached, first of all,
the package maintainer has to seriously test the package on as many
platforms available so that the above install-from-source scheme
does actually work. This can amount to man-days or man-weeks of
workpower, it's just lucky that in the opensource domain one has
a good chance to find help here. Secondly, any new option that one
would usually -Ddefine must go into the `configure.in` - the
Makefile is not the correct place anymore, so developers are
actually forced to know about autoconf. On a third point, the
portability of software is greatly increased, since in most
cases one can easily start to use `automake` and `libtool` - this is 
also the case here, with xwpe, and Jan *is* using `automake`, and 
I have gone even to use `libtool` for the so-targets.

Okay, enough of babble, I'll go to finalize the rudiments I did
start to hack up last night and I'll post them here. Yet, I just
have to do a good deal of non-computerish things today, like
repairing my car to go for party-hopping this saturday night. And
even then, I would not call the stuff more than alpha until I tested 
them in the labs next week. So, relax, but it will come...

until then, bye bye,
-- Guido                         GSM: +49-17-59723679   ICQ: 49289035