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From: Eric Ford (eford_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-10-11 03:56:10

> The main thing is that we should know how the other users are
> jam. Some might know what should be done in the Jam Makefile before
> starting compiling but most won't (and they should'nt).
> So we should know : have most users already installed Jam ? If so,
> they encounter problems or found it cumbersome, ...

Personally... Never heard of it until boost build wanted it. Had to
read documentation on the build system, find it, install it, generally
a nussance (made me think "what makes those high brow boost people
think they're so special that they can do things their own way?").
Having to learn a new tool (not so bad when everything works out of
the box, but a real problem when things don't just work) is a major
deterent to using the software. The boost documentation is long.

Originally, I just ignored anything that required jam. Then the
thread library motivated me to give it a chance. The build failed, so
I gave up. Then someone posted a fix for the threads library on linux
with gcc, so I decided to give it another try. Jam was so
complicated, I decided it was easier to identify the files that needed
to be compiled in and do it myself rather than using jam. It's never
build an entire library for me. I have no interest in learning it's
syntax, file layout, etc., especially when only one library uses it.
Finally, whoever thought of asking users to type the ridiculus
-ftools/build/allyourbase.jam should be sentanced to years of
debugging. Why can't it just be 'jam' or 'jam gcc'? Even 'jam
-sTOOLS="gcc"' seems too complicated.

I imagine there's some good reason why jam was chosen (I don't
normally follow the build threads), but as a user I would much prefer
the familiar ./configure; make. Jam annoys me, but I'm still willing
to use libraries for which it works the first time. I think direct
links to the executables (as opposed to the current indirect links)
should be provided on the web page of any library which requires it.
Sorry for being so negative, but I assume you want an honest answer.


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