Automake and libtool for Samba

David Lee T.D.Lee at
Tue Nov 21 18:53:08 GMT 2000

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, David Collier-Brown wrote:

> Michael Sweet wrote:
> > > I first ran across automake and libtool when doing the IRIX
> > > distributions for GIMP and SANE; my personal opinion is that they
> > > are evil programs that shouldn't be used.
> Matt Peterson wrote:
> > ... A rather harsh judgment of tools that have made their way in to
> > thousands of projects from KDE to Apache.
> 	If a portability tool makes it harder to achieve
> 	portability, it tends to annoy the peron using it (;-))
> 	I've used six different, idiosyncratic portability
> 	systems: all can be made to work, with varying degrees
> 	of success.  

I suspect timescales are important.  We are looking to the future.  So
what libtool was once like several months ago is relatively unimportant.
Far more important would seem to be:
1. what is libtool like now?
2. how has it developed (i.e. evolved, changed) in the recent past?
3. how open are its authors to discussing problems and incorporating
   our fixes?

So we use the past not as a fixed determinant from a particular bad
experience, but rather to construct an idea of its development to the
present and potential extrapolation into the future.

I'm sure that the early versions of Samba itself would have been (ahem)
"fragile".  But should that be used to dismiss Samba as she is now?

So libtool is probably going through a similar maturing phase.  It may
need folk like us to assist it: indeed both products (Samba and libtool) 
will benefit from one piece of work (two for the price of one!).

Certainly, care will be needed.  But judgements should be based on
its development history (as distinct from an experience in the past)
and its potential (in its own right, and to help Samba) for the future.

Hope that helps us as we consider it.


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