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From: Karl Nelson (kenelson_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-02-21 11:38:45

> > The interpreter for jamfiles is a custom program called jam, and
> > further customized for boost usage. The interpreter for autotools'
> > is comprised of several programs (shell, textutils, fileutils) each
> > of which does some part of the work. The total size of the
> > interpreter programs for autotools' configure scripts is probably 2
> > megs whereas for Jam it is about 500k.
> Requiring a shell is, by far, the worst culprit here, but the fact of
> the matter is, there's no native port of most of the parts required
> for autoconf. You have to install cygwin to have the needed parts.
> Frankly, though, even if there were a native port of all the stuff
> required for autoconf you'd still be talking about at least 2 megs of
> stuff that has to be installed. Boost strapping something that large
> isn't really an option as far as I'm concerned, and again the powers
> that be will have problems with an installation that large.

I don't think it would be nearly that large in perl.

> > Autotools basically work in two layers, a developer-specific
> > metadata layer that generates the configure file, and a
> > user-specific layer (the configure file). The user-specific layer
> > does not require autoconf or automake. Automake is a perl script
> so
> > adds perl to the requirements for the developer-specific layer,
> > which is also readily available in source and binary form as a
> > native Windows app.
> The perl ports I'm aware of are intrusive installations (as they
> probably should be), which the powers that be won't allow. I know,
> I've looked into using python. I'm lucky enough (for now) to be able
> to install it on my personal box simply because (temporarily at
> least) I'm exempt from the monitoring that most in this company are
> subject to. But I couldn't extend this to include the build server.
> Based on feedback on here, I'm not the only one in this situation.

Can I read this as "IF AND ONLY IF we have full perl equivelents of
the shell tools required to autoconf can boost use it." ?
If so where do I send the Perl scripts? :-)
I really really dislike Jam as the booststapping is a royal
pain just to replicate what virtually every unix box has already.
Perl tools for cp, m4, sed, awk, sh, which just enough support
for auto* tools really should not be large or invasive.


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