[darcs-users] darcs patch: Remove autoconf support and cut GNUmakefile to only bu...

Jason Dagit dagit at codersbase.com
Fri Jul 17 16:40:26 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 9:17 AM, Petr Rockai <me at mornfall.net> wrote:

> Hi!
> This is sort of a carnage patch. After this, we will be down to a single
> buildsystem: Cabal. This means we no longer need to maintain all the
> shell+m4
> mess that the autoconf system drags around. Unfortunately, it also means
> that
> we lose some features:
> - make ghci (it didn't work for me when I tried) ... and if you cabal
> install,
>  you can do ghci, and :m Darcs.Some.Module anyway

The ghci target was notoriously flaky, but when it did work it was very
valuable (to me anyway).  Usually when it was failing, if I did a full build
first and then used the target everything would work.  Sometimes it was the
opposite that worked (doing a clean followed by make ghci).

I don't have a machine handy to try what you're saying, but I never really
had much luck with it in the past.  Does cabal-install make this easier some

In other words, I'm sad to see this feature go away.

> - make continuous: this is something we may want to get back -- the best
>  approach I can think of is to patch searchpath to use cabal to do the
> work:
>  either that, or write a new tool... original searchpath seems to be gone
> and
>  it's a good deal of spaghetti with load of features we don't care about

I don't think I care about this feature.

> - make install: cabal currently does not install the manual (since it
> cannot
>  build it)

This sounds bad.

> - make installserver: I wish I knew how this whole thing worked...

No comment.

> - make darcs-snapshot: dunno what is this good for either
> - make windowsinstaller: has anyone seen this working in last say year?
> - make microbench: probably not used either

I'm glad you're asking people about these.  It's quite possible someone is
using them.  The windows installer one sounds important/valuable to me at
least (then again, I didn't check the makefile to see what it actually

> I think the rest of the autoconf/make features is now substituted by cabal
> just
> fine. I have retained "make tags" and "make website", with the latter being
> lightly crippled: it expects that a standard cabal build has happened
> (leaving
> behind dist/build/darcs/darcs) and it uses latex2html unconditionally.

Tags is something I don't want to lose so it's good that you retained it.

I'd like to just say once more, that I don't think we need to get rid of the
autoconf/make based build.  I believe adding cabal support was a great idea,
but I'm still not convinced that cabal and autoconf/make need to be mutually
exclusive here.

Good luck,
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