autoconf on Win32, etc.? (was Re: minimizing forks ...)

Subject: autoconf on Win32, etc.? (was Re: minimizing forks ...)
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 14:18:23 CST

At 02:38 PM 2/5/01 -0500, Dom Lachowicz wrote:
>> Were you building with the MSVC compiler or gcc?
>GCC though I have gotten it to work with MSVC too using CL, but I had to
>export c:\progra~1\MSVSTUDIO\MSVC\Bin to Bash's PATH environment variable
>and it involved a bit more hackery than I'm remembering at the moment...

This is the most reassuring thing I've heard in a while. Most efforts to
make autoconf a viable XP option for us have gotten stuck somewhere at or
before the "a bit more hackery" phase.

The vision of "./configure ; make" isn't just appealing to Unix folks and
gcc users, but they're the only folks for whom it Just Works. Thus, the
ongoing skepticism from the Rest of Us.

Here's a modest proposal -- I'd love to see someone figure out all the
necessary hackery required to get *native* compilers (ie, not gcc) to Just
Work with an autoconf-based build environment. I presume that such a
solution would require:

1. A specific list of additional tools to download on Win32, etc
2. A list of the needed environment settings,
3. Instructions on how to write rules, and
4. Guidelines for XP discipline in writing files.

For example, for Abi development, I'm used to using a VC-based toolchain
which Just Works by opening up a Cygwin shell and typing the following:

  cd abi

It'd be cool if I could instead open up a Cygwin shell and type:

  cd abi
  make install

So long as that environment Just Works *with VC*, builds Win32 installers,
and isn't significantly slower than the existing (poky) build system, I'd
happily switch and not look back. In the mean time, though, I suspect that
makefile.Abi and friends are still here to stay.

Prove me wrong, Sam! ;-)


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