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RE: configure-less Perl builds

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> ----------
> From: 	Andy Dougherty[SMTP:doughera@lafayette.edu]
> Sent: 	Tuesday, January 04, 2000 9:41 AM
> To: 	Simon Cozens
> Cc: 	perl5-porters@perl.com
> Subject: 	Re: configure-less Perl builds
> On Tue, 4 Jan 2000, Simon Cozens wrote:
> > Anyway, I started the port of Configure today (Sorry, Sarathy, I know I
> > said I wouldn't do this yet, but work got boring :) and am about 10% of
> > the way through. However, I'm running into some interesting `issues'. 
> Amazing :-).  If you get even 50% of the way there without going crazy,
> I'll be even more amazed.  Or perhaps at that point I should assume that
> your inability to detect your own insanity is proof of your own
> insantity :-).
> > As the patch stands, it sacrifices everything for portability.
> > `Everything' here currently includes things like opendir(), which is
> > nasty. (but not insurmountable) The reason is, I'm not sure what we can
> > sensibly assume - if anything - that a C library will give us. And if I
> > want opendir() should I bank on there being a dirent.h, or should we
> > implement it ourselves? In fact, how much of the C library are we
> > prepared to provide ourselves in order to get it up and working?
> The general idea traditionally has been that anything in v7 is probably
> ok.  The metaconfig units sometimes (but not often enough) contain helpful
> comments (that don't make it into Configure) about which systems were
> particularly troublesome and why things are done in a particular way. If
> you want a copy of the approximately-current units, let me know.  They may
> help you answer specific questions about specific functions.
> Now metaconfig is a quite old package, of course (Raphael started his work
> on dist-3 in 1990; I don't know offhand when Larry released dist-2.0) and
> it carries with it workarounds for many systems long extinct.  (Configure
> still sometimes checks for Eunice, for example.)  Figuring out which ones
> are long extinct is left as an exercise for the re-implementor, but
> beware, there is a lot of old hardware out there that continues to run
> just fine.
> Opendir, dirent.h (and the associated #ifdef forrest in perl.h) was indeed
> a pain to work out.  My original System V manuals are packed away right
> now, but I seem to recall that <dirent.h> is safe for System Vr3 and
> later, and that the ndir.h stuff was really only relevant for Vr2 and
> earlier and SCO and Xenix systems.  In short, I'd say assume you have
> <dirent.h> (but you might as well leave in the NeXT-specific code in
> perl.h to pick up <sys/dir.h> as well.)
> > Oh, and general comments on the whole thing welcome.
> Good luck.  You're going to need it :-).
> At some point, you might want to take a look at how metaconfig works.
> Rather than editing a humungous script like Configure, metaconfig builds
> up Configure from a very large number of small units.  These units
> explicitly declare their dependencies, and then are assembled together.
> It's a pretty neat system.
>     Andy Dougherty		doughera@lafayette.edu

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