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software hate

2007-03-27 10:42:39.009459-07 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

I was going to lay this one on Mac OS/X, but I think there's enough hate to go around.

  1. First off, to the Apple developers: It's great that y'all leverage off of the GNU utils for your development environment. It's nice that when your development is hopelessly broken we can fall back on to the tools over which your systems are just a shell and use them, because at least they're well tested and developed and relatively bug free. It's nice that when XCode chokes on its own vomit that I can run GDB on the executable somewhere down there inside the application bundle and figure out what's really going on. Bur it sure would be nice if y'all were consistent about shipping relatively up-to-date versions.
  2. Now on to "autoconf" and "automake": If these tools are supposed to do things like help deal with version and system differences, how come the hardest part about compiling any project is always getting the version and configuration of these two tools right?

Grrr....

[ related topics: Macintosh Free Software Software Engineering Open Source ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-27 12:18:32.60607-07 by: dexev

I've long ago decided that autoconf and (especially) automake are more trouble than they're worth. The only purpose of automake that I see is to make sure that your Makefiles are recursive, slow, and impossible to read.

(Of course, I'm working entirely on in-house python projects these days...)

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-27 12:59:50.701903-07 by: Dan Lyke

I'm trying to compile libpng, and configure keeps giving me "configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables".

The most frustrating part ios that on any modern Linux distro it's a matter of apt-get install libpng-dev or something as trivial, but for the Mac? Nooooooooo. Download source code, discover that the shipped versions of the assorted GNU tools are incompatible with everything, later, rinse, repeat.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-27 13:15:52.107628-07 by: Dan Lyke

Dunno how the wacky stuff got set in my environment, but that problem was wacky stuff in my environment. Once I got one of these packages "config.log" file to actually fess up.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-03-27 14:13:34.458584-07 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, and while I'm ranting: Why does everyone outside the Un*x community (and, yes, despite the Mach kernel, I consider Apple in that camp) think that it's a good idea to re-invent pipes with their own layer? Why not just adopt the convention that everything has an int shaped handle and the right way to deal with it is to allow you connect slots or callbacks to that, and that all the standard handles you'd expect to work with it work with it?

At least OS/X isn't as bad in this regard as Windows is, but why aspire to "sucks less"?