[MonoDevelop] Autotools integration?

Miguel de Icaza miguel@ximian.com
Tue, 14 Dec 2004 21:13:18 -0500

Hello Alexandre,

    I agree with your sense of urgency and your sense that something
must be done about it.

    My personal opinion is that building on top of the auto-tools means
that you are building on a shaky foundation, and a foundation on which
you will end up writing tools that try to parse (and fail) the language
used by automake/autoconf which are not really going to be parseable,
they will always break on some condition.

    Leaving alone the editing capabilities, the other issue is that
autotools are all very fragile: they need specific versions to work with
each other, and they often break.   So all in all, I think that going
this path is a path of failure.

    My proposal to depend exclusively on pkg-config means that libraries
that are mature enough will have to provide it and its is both parseable
and detectable.  The autotools are designed to help you write portable
code that will run on BSD 4.2 on a VAX or your most modern Linux distro.

    I think we can safely say that Mono wont run on anything primitive,
and we might as well just ignore anything older.

    Now, the important bit is to get the work started and grow it
organically.   After seeing so many attempts at coming up with an all
encompassing solution for the last six years, I do not think we will be
able to foresee everything that is needed in advance.

    Hence organically grown, pkg-config based, and the configure and
Makefiles generated from our internal XML "Solution" format is the right
path to go.