Boost logo

Boost-Build :

Subject: Re: [Boost-build] Son of b2 - suggestions
From: Paul A. Bristow (pbristow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2016-10-31 07:41:22

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Klemens Morgenstern [mailto:klemens.morgenstern_at_[hidden]]
> Sent: 29 October 2016 19:14
> To: boost-build_at_[hidden]
> Subject: Re: [Boost-build] Son of b2 - suggestions
> Am 29.10.2016 um 13:57 schrieb Paul A. Bristow:
> > A few suggestions as you are getting closer to prototyping.
> I do agree with most of your suggestions, but not with all; but overall,
> that makes a lot of sense.
> Command line
> I completely disagree with the command-line stuff. It's hard enough to
> get a command-line tool right, and that's what this should be focused
> on. We already discussed an Interface to IDEs etc. but this should not
> be our main concern. Also: I don't think Consoles going anywhere. With
> the popularity of tools like git, it's coming back, if anything. A build
> system basically calls a set of commands, so it's hard to avoid the topic.

OK, I agree with getting a command line interface right first (though I think most command lines 'syntax' is the work of the
primeval hackers, but b2 does better).

> > 2 Be very reluctant to require more tools, like Python. Every extra tool that you add will reduce the number of people who
> will
> > use it. Half of your prospective users have never heard of Python, and barely know of Unix.
> I don't think so. I think the people you're thinking about are the
> IDE-Buildsystem users, and if that does it for them, they shouldn't
> switch. It's more a case of, how portable the tool is. Python has
> extremely widespread support, so I don't see an issue there. Java or .net would be insanely bad choices.

I fear you live in a small *nixy bubble ;-)

And also you know far too much already. I have the big advantage of being simple and senile.

Most of your users are IDE users, even if they mostly hide behind the build-system. They need to be able to understand what the
build system is doing under the hood when things don't do what they expect or want.

I believe that bjam/b2 is a superior and powerful build system that failed to grab market share mainly because the people who built
and documented it were too clever and knew too much. I'm just pleading not to make the same mistake a second time.


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal UK LA8 8AB
+44 (0) 1539 561830

Boost-Build list run by bdawes at, david.abrahams at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at