[Ffmpeg-devel] build systems

Michel Bardiaux mbardiaux
Tue Sep 20 18:38:18 CEST 2005

Sam Hocevar wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 20, 2005, Michel Bardiaux wrote:
>>>  More complicated projects usually require autoconf 2.59+ (q4 2003)
>>>and libtool 1.5+ (q3 2003).
>>That's exactly why (well, *one* of the reasons) I stopped contributing 
>>to Lesstif: it wanted 2.59, while with my debian woody (6 months ago) I 
>>was stuck at 2.53. Every time the metaconfig files changed I had to ask 
>>somebody to run the autotools for me!
>    You were asking someone else to run the autotools for you because you
> could not be bothered to install autoconf and autoconf2.13 packages from
> Debian testing on your computer? Wow.

It is not *my* computer. Installing anything except from 'stable' was no-no.

That I would have to install bits from another, *unstable*, distro, was 
*exactly* what I didnt like with autostuff. The quality of the tools is 
not the question.

>>For other projects, 2.53 works but sometimes prints some 
>>incomprehensible and frightening messages. It *seems* to work, but how 
>>to be sure?
>    Well, that remark would apply to any piece of software, especially
> a compiler. But if upstream's bootstrap script was well thought and
> accepts your version of the tools, there is no reason it should not
> work.
>>The problem is, if ffmpeg were to go the autoway, it would be necessary 
>>that anyone working on the metaconfig use exactly one and the same 
>>version, to be sure some feature requiring some more recent autothing is 
>>not used.
>    As an author and/or autotools build system maintainer for at least
> 10 different projects (none of them requiring a specific version of the
> autotools) I can tell you that this is absolutely not necessary, even
> for a project as complex as ffmpeg. (by the way, I would be happy if
> ffmpeg used that scheme because it makes cross-compiling and feature
> detection a lot easier, but I am in no way trying to advocate it over
> any other build system as far as ffmpeg is concerned)
And I simply wished to report that there is at least 1 project where the 
autothings wanted me to 'jump to the bleeding edge'. I am not saying 
that would necessarily impact any autotools-based project; only that the 
potential for trouble is there.

Michel Bardiaux
R&D Director
T +32 [0] 2 790 29 41
F +32 [0] 2 790 29 02
E mailto:mbardiaux at mediaxim.be

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