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Re: Building Subversion 1.[12] on OS X 10.4 fails

From: K. Richard Pixley <rich_at_noir.com>
Date: 2005-05-17 23:53:30 CEST

FTR, I'm one of the original developers of the gnu configure system. I
wrote the one that was being distributed with binutils & gdb, last I
checked. I, too, am having trouble building subversion on a mac.

Scott Palmer wrote:

>> As you can see, there are many ways to skin the cat. If something
>> doesn't build straight out of the box (e.g. ./configure), then lots
>> of people just whack on stuff until it works. I know I do.
>
> I haven't got THAT much free time. Quite frankly, if it doesn't work
> "straight out of the box" it's broken, and just because it's open
> source doesn't mean it's MY job to fix it.

I completely agree. It should be trivial to build this thing using
standard defaults right out of the box. I don't mind mucking about to
get non-default behavior, but standard default behavior should Just
Work(tm).

It's MUCH easier to muck with something that works than it is to muck
around trying to get it to work the first time.

> To be honest I find the entire process of "./configure" utterly
> ridiculous. For example: It checks for things like stdlib.h - if you
> have a C compiler that doesn't have this file you have much bigger
> problems than compiling subversion. It checks for fortran compilers
> - why? subversion is written in C. I could go on, but the point is
> that the massive amount of "checking" just goes to show that there is
> something so fundamentally wrong with the entire process that it just
> makes me sad.

It is ridiculous.

The original idea was that if you actively tested for the bits you
needed, then the configuration system should be capable of inferring
itself into new systems with minor variations. In practice, those
variations need to be tested. And the activity of writing tests is so
onerous that people who would be happy writing down and sharing that
macosx10.4 requires such-and-such a library will instead just hack their
own configuration, never share that data, and now everyone has the same
problem.

More, you can't use cross compilation if the configuration checking
requires any run time checks.

FTR, one available binary package doesn't work. A second requires a
distribution system (fink) which doesn't work, so I can't even try it.

I can't build 1.1.4 from source on tiger out of the box, default configs.

I'm waiting for 1.2 to configure now.

--rich

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Received on Tue May 17 23:55:42 2005

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