[Aptitude-devel] Towards a better build system

Daniel Burrows dburrows at debian.org
Thu Apr 29 02:19:48 UTC 2010

On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 08:21:06PM +0000, Sune Vuorela <nospam at vuorela.dk> was heard to say:
> On 2010-04-23, Daniel Burrows <dburrows at debian.org> wrote:
> >> 
> >> Isn't Cmake more used? (I don't know both.)
> >
> >   I have no idea.  The one thing I do know about CMake is that it uses
> > a private build language (like Make and BJam), which is one of the main
> > things that frustrates me about autotools.
> CMake is a very nice tool, which I really enjoy to work with. It is so
> far the least bad[1] build system I have tried, both as a packager and as a
> developer.
> As a Qt coder, cmake is the most friendly build system around, and
> thinking of the new "aptitude-qt" gsoc project with yours truly as a
> primary mentor, cmake would be a good choice.

  Ok.  I'm not emotionally committed to scons -- I have a nearly
complete "proof of concept" build system in the tree, but I wasn't
especially impressed.  The only thing I can say is that the result is
better than autotools, but only just.

  scons has (IMO) a really good idea at its core, namely using a real
programming language to define the build.  Unfortunately, the design,
implementation and documentation are all horribly sloppy (again IMO).
It was *not* a pleasure to write the scons rules to build some of the
custom targets aptitude needs, and its debugging facilities *suck*.
(ironic, considering that they claim that its debugging support is
better than that of "make")

  That said: I looked at the CMake Web site a bit last weekend and
noticed that their FAQ says you can't build source distributions with
cmake.  Ew?  I'll reserve judgement until I see your proof-of-concept,


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