[openbeos-build-team] Re: Goals for the new build system

  • From: "Erik Jaesler" <erik@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos-build-team@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2002 19:44:57 -0700

I am very much in agreement with Ingo here.  We want the system to be 
simple to use, but not necessarily doing everything for us.  I think the 
BeOS makefile system is a beautiful example of that (esp. since I don't 
feel like I'm actually using make ;), so that might be a good place to 
look in order to see what level of abstraction to shoot for.  I, for 
one, don't mind listing my source files, app/lib name, libraries to link 
to, etc., explicitly -- I don't want to have to write rules in order to 
get most things done.

One thing I want to throw out there is that I'm very unenthusiastic 
about the idea of having a configuration script that needs running.  
This is exactly the sort of thing I would like to see built in.  The Be 
makefile system builds projects correctly on x86 and PPC without any 
work on the users part.  Likewise, I think our system should deal with 
platform specific nitty-gritty without the user having to do *anything*. 
 I want to checkout source and run jam -- that's it.

My $0.02,


>> >Maybe it wa a bit harsh, but then suggesting we rewrite the entire 
>> build
>> >system is pretty dramatic!
>> Note: *I* will rewrite it.  You don't have to worry about anything.  
>> If 
>> Ingo wants to help, great.  But I can't (and wouldn't) force him to 
>> help, just as you can't force me to keep the current system :)
>Yes, I think a well designed build system is important and I'm willing 
>to help you to achieve that goal. But please consider these two points:
>1) I also have real coding work to be done -- currently we're starting 
>to tackle the registrar and related classes, and as it is a crucial 
>part, we want to finish it as soon as possible -- and thus I would 
>really dislike, if I had to spend a big amount of time with the build 
>2) To avoid upsetting David entirely ;-) it is a good idea to never get 

>the CVS repository into a state in which things don't work, i.e. the 
>changes should be happen completely unnoticable/seamless for the 
>developers. This can be done without any problems, when one person does 

>it alone -- change the things in the working copy until they are 
>perfect and then commit everything virtually atomically -- but may be a 

>bit more complicated for two persons.
>Regarding some points in your original mail:
>> 3. [...]
>> Since we are using Jam 2.4 now, which has 
>> the GLOB rule, we could just use KernelObjects [ GLOB . *.c ] ; in 
>> each 
>> kernel sub-directory.  Or, if we also need the $(SOURCE_GRIST) 
>> appended 
>> to each source (which must be the case given the current Jamfiles), 
>> we 
>> could write a rule to do this using GLOB and a for loop, so that 
>> again 
>> we have avoided the hard-coding.  I say if we can use the power of 
>> Jam 
>> to make our build files simpler, we should.
>David already explained why GLOBing won't work for the kernel. I just 
>want to add another, certainly very subjective concern. I'd like to 
>warn to be careful with adding too "intelligent" mechanisms. If such a 
>thing restricts the user in specific cases or may have unwanted side 
>effects, don't implement it. The automatically collecting sources via 
>GLOB seems to be a candidate, as right from the start you had to think 
>about special cases and that for the very small benefit of not needing 
>to list the source files explicitely -- for a developer who writes 
>hundreds of lines of code into a new source file it is nothing to add 
>its name to a Jamfile.
>Regarding the separate objects directory I totally agree with David and 

>Michael. Arguments were given. All larger projects I know of, separate 
>the generated files from the sources. The fact that Jam supports this 
>quite nicely should also encourage us to do this.
>The other points in your mail (unless I missed one, what me well be as 
>I'm pretty tired ;-) are very good.
>CU, Ingo

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the 
argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
        -William Pitt, British prime-minister (1759-1806)

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