[article] trimming down autoconf's configure scripts by using pkg-config

Marius Groeger mgroeger@sysgo.com
Thu Mar 23 10:11:00 GMT 2006

On Wed, 22 Mar 2006, Enrico 'nekrad' Weigelt wrote:

> here's a little article I wrote about an approach for encapsulating
> platform dependent stdc-lib fixes (ie. some platforms have broken
> string handling, etc) behind pkg-config.
> It is mostly directed on autoconf (It is the one I have most of my
> daily trouble with), but of course the approach works with other
> buildsystems, even plain make, too.
> The permanent URL of the article:
> * http://www.metux.de/articles/coding/trimming-down-autoconf-with-pkg-config

Thanks for the pointer.

I think this article is to some extend spreading FUD. Autoconf is 
primarily a facility allowing software to compile and run on 
*different* operating systems. Not being POSIX compliant is not 
synonymous with being buggy. If you're after getting a wrapper to make 
any OS of your choosing POSIX compliant -- fair enough, if you're 
running a lot of idle cycles. But you shouldn't blame autoconf for not 
doing that for you.

Having said that, I think the bigger problem with autoconf is the 
inter-dependency of the tools and the .am/.in scripts. Not having the 
"right" version (note I'm not saying the "recent version"!) often is a 
PITA. Also, as you correctly pointed out in your article, actually 
running certain tests is complete nonsense in a cross situation.


Marius Groeger <mgroeger@sysgo.com>
SYSGO AG                      Embedded and Real-Time Software
Voice: +49 6136 9948 0                  FAX: +49 6136 9948 10
www.sysgo.com | www.elinos.com | www.osek.de | www.pikeos.com

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