[kaffe] build breakage

Jim Pick jim at kaffe.org
Tue Sep 23 17:04:02 PDT 2003

On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 23:33:12 +0200 (CEST)
Arnaud Vandyck <arnaud.vandyck at ulg.ac.be> wrote:

> On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 20:50:41 +0100 (BST)
> James Simmons <jsimmons at infradead.org> wrote:
> > I really really hate the build system :-(
> Some friends told me about scons... do you know it? 

I agree the build system is somewhat cumbersome.  However, in defense of
our build system, it does a good job of not requiring end users to
install additional tools to build Kaffe.

On a stripped system, one should only need a basic Unix shell and
utilities, a c compiler and linker, and the core development libraries
(eg. libc, gmp, zlib) to get a working virtual machine.  If people can
get a working JVM going early on in the bootstrapping process, that
enables them to use a huge number of Java-based build tools (eg. ant).

The tradeoff is that in order to do this, we developers have to do more
work, eg. autoconf, automake, libtool, etc.  It makes life easier for
the end users though, ultimately.  Also, by using those tools, we can
help to improve them for the rest of the free software community.

Unfortunately, several more build-time dependencies have snuck in than
I'd like, eg. we need GNU tar due to some long filenames, and I think we
have some gcc'isms.

I think there is room to add additional tools to the build process that
are meant to be used in "maintainer mode" only.  eg.  I'd like to use
ant and XSLT in the documentation generation process.

BTW, I'm a big fan of ant -- instead of trying to be a language, it just
concentrates on defining the core tasks that form the basis of the build
system, but still leaves the option open to define additional tasks
using Java code.

Of course, ant requires a JVM to run, so it's of little use in
bootstrapping a JVM.  Being able to cross-compile Kaffe is important as


 - Jim

More information about the kaffe mailing list