My periodic bark at auto "tools" 2003/1 edition (was Re: rtems-ss-20030128)

Till Straumann strauman at SLAC.Stanford.EDU
Fri Jan 31 20:29:51 UTC 2003

Hi all.
> Sorry guys.  I used a very poor choice of word.  I really believe in
> automake and autoconf and am glad that RTEMS is using it.  

Well, I dont. And I'm sad RTEMS is using it. Here is my latest story:

Our current RTEMS version is ss-20020301. I'm planning to upgrade to
the upcoming (?) new release, however and so I am playing around with
ss-20030128. Since there are several developers involved and a lot of
software on top of RTEMS, I need to support two versions of RTEMS at
a time during the migration phase.

Needless to say that I again had to upgrade to the latest cutting edge
version of the auto "tools" (Again, the versions mentioned by
README.configure were not enough).

OK, I upgrade those fabulous "tools" (and after upgrading the compiler
etc. as well), I built the new snapshot.

To my great surprise, however, I suddenly got obscure errors when
re-'make'ing the old RTEMS version (using the old compiler, of course).
After some frustrating research I found that the new "auto" "tools"
do _not_ work with the old snapshot. Wonderful [and besides, I don't
want to read a FManual unless I need to write a, I just
want to run 'bootstrap'].

Along with RTEMS, I now need to maintain two versions of automake, of
autoconf + two versions of gcc + newlib etc.
Note that I have to rebuild all of these from scratch because I
cannot install two RPM versions simultaneously :-( :-(.

Will there be any point in the near future when you can
freeze the autotool requirements to some decent version
(e.g. one that's already shipped with an off-the shelf
linux distro)?

I also would be helpful (this has been discussed) to be reluctant
to changes to the RTEMS/newlib interface in order for being able
to re-use a xgcc/newlib installation for multiple snapshots.
E.g. cut releases more often but allow gcc/newlib changes only
when changing the minor version number.

I do not want to offend anyone and I appreciate your great
work - it's just that autoxxx frustrates me so often when I
try to get my work done.

-- Till

> --joel

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