[sword-devel] Autotools Bug?

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon May 11 20:47:30 MST 2009

On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 10:23 PM, Ben Morgan <benpmorgan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM, Jonathan Marsden <jmarsden at fastmail.fm>
> wrote:
>> Probably.  Proprietary development environments like this are just not
>> often seen as critical targets for open source tools, I would think.
>> Especially when it's not really clear what the benefits of MSVC and
>> Borland over gcc would be at the end of the day... will the resulting
>> app work differently?  Better?  Faster?  Or is this just a matter of
>> personal choice for the developer?
> MSVC is (I believe) faster, produces smaller and faster executables, etc.
> BPBible sword bindings are compiled with MSVC.

BibleTime on Windows is also building with MSVC (we use CMake for our
configure instead of autotools).

BibleCS, last I heard, builds with Borland, as does Chris' builds of
the utilities, or perhaps he builds the utils with MSVC, it's been a
while since I heard.

I know that Xiphos builds using the MSYS environment, but last I heard
they were experimenting with moving off of autotools so that they
could possibly use other compilers.

If we still have active WinMo development, I've never heard of g++
being used for that, but I've very little exposure to that.

> Additionally, MSYS and (I believe) Cygwin are horrible environments to try
> to use... (I haven't used Cygwin, but I have used MSYS)

For one thing, ICU's native build environment for Windows is MSVC -- I
believe Matthew has built it, finally, with MSYS, but it was

CLucene, on which the SWORD library would like to work, builds
beautifully in MSVC using its CMake configure process, and has given
me grief when trying to build in MSYS.

Cygwin isn't even worth talking about for building Windows apps, since
compiling with the Cygwin version of gcc creates a reliance on the
Cygwin files and DLLs; although there are switches to disable that
behavior, it's not suggested, especially if one links against
libraries in Cygwin.

I've already made mention of autotools not supporting XCode - yes, one
can build from the command line with autotools on a Mac, but doing so
isn't quite "the Mac way" and it becomes non-intuitive how to build a
fat binary (for use on PPC and i386) when you move off of XCode.
Additionally, building in XCode is the only "officially" supported
mechanism for iPhone developers.

Yes, you point out that Eclipse has support for autotools, but
autotools does not have support for Eclipse.  CMake will generate a
CDT4 project on Windows for Eclipse to use MinGW, NMake (MSVC's make
tool) or regular Unix makefiles.  I believe Xiphos is using waf in its
attempts to move away from autotools, so I can't state anything about
what it is able to accomplish in generation.

"In general" most open source software is not aiming at being happy on
every OS, true.  But The SWORD Project, I understand, would like to be
available at least on Windows, Mac, Nix (autotools only properly
handles 1.5 of those) and hand held systems.  I'm not at all convinced
that autotools + manual configuration of Borland, MSVC, XCode and
others is the most efficient way for us to go about this.


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