[sword-devel] Autotools Bug?

Manfred Bergmann bergmannmd at web.de
Tue May 12 00:14:22 MST 2009

Am 12.05.2009 um 04:47 schrieb Greg Hellings:

>> 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
> non-trivial.
> 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.

Building with autotools or on the command line on Mac might not be  
intuitive but it is - let's say "the Darwin way".
Mac OSX is Unix and I would consider it beeing normal to build  
autotools projects.
Apple gives quite some instructions in their docs of how to build  
universal binaries of third party C++ or C libraries to be bundled in  
Cocoa Mac Apps. All this also applies for iPhone Apps even though some  
Darwin libraries might not be available (like curl).
In fact I would even say command line building for libraries is much  
more the Mac way than building them with Xcode. But that's only my  

> 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.

I can't say I like autotools. I only know very little about it and  
only used it in the past to build things.
And to be honest that's all I want with it. For me it is unattractive.

What would be an alternative? CMake?
For Mac I don't necessarily need a Xcode project. Building with a  
makefile works pretty good right now. How that makefile is produced I  
don't care. If there is a more attractive alternative than autotools  
that works on the same number of systems, fine.


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