[haiku-development] Re: External package woes (was What to do with termcap?)

On Feb 1, 2013, at 2:19 AM, Ingo Weinhold <ingo_weinhold@xxxxxx> wrote:

> I'm not going to address your examples. None of them is what I would consider 
> an everyday use case (i.e. >99% of the work done on Haiku is not similar to 
> any of those).


While it may not be 99% of the development time, neither is maintaining 
third-party packages, and being able to deploy modern compilers (clang), ABI 
changes (armv7), and simply evolve dependencies that cross packages, is 
valuable work that has a very broad reach.

> Being able to automate as much as possible is certainly desirable. I doubt 
> that we will be able to build the whole OS from the scratch automatically 
> anytime soon, though. One major problem is that many software packages cannot 
> be cross-built by default (even something as fundamental as bash falls into 
> that category). Making/hacking them so that they can be cross-built is likely 
> quite a lot of one-time and continuous maintenance work. I think it is more 
> realistic that we get cross-building support going for the minimal set of 
> software packages required to do native builds. A fully automatic OS build 
> would then involve building most software in a VM.

The thing I find frustrating is that this used to work. It was an intentional 
decision to move things out-of-tree before automation existed to maintain 
things out-of-tree, even if that maintenance is done with non-cross builds.  I 
don't necessarily think supporting cross-development builds necessary makes for 
every 3rd party package (it IS an enormous amount of work), but I will say, it 
has made development of the core OS *so* much easier compared to my past 
experiences on similar work, and I've thought it was really awesome that Haiku 
supported (mostly) full cross-compilation.

-landonf

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