Jan 262006

So autotools sniping is in season on advogato. This really does get old.

To those claiming that GNU make + pkg-config can do the job, Do It: show me a build system that will give me all that automake does with no more work than that tool makes me do. I won’t be satisfied with anything less than a fully functional make distcheck.

Don’t stress. I’m not holding my breath.

The fact is that there’s an enormous amount of knowledge about portability and general build requirements encoded in autoconf, automake, and libtool. Solving the portability problem and providing sufficient primitives for automating a sufficient number of tasks to satisfy a sufficiently large and diverse sampling of projects in order to be taken seriously is no mean feat. The burden borne by the autotools in facilitating open source (and other) software should not be underestimated, much less trivialized.

Whining that configure wasn’t checked in because the project developers don’t want the noise in their changesets? Spare me. Learn to use the autotools.

 Posted by at 5:59 am
Jan 152006

I had not tested OpenVRML‘s Mozilla plug-in for some time, during which I’d made a number of nontrivial changes to the library. So when I went back to it a couple of weeks ago, I was not exactly shocked that it didn’t work at all. But when I finally realized what was causing the deadlock, it was one of those “How did this ever work?” moments.

So the plug-in has been restored to basically working condition. It still needs a bit more surgery before it will shut down gracefully. Right now it’s hacked by sending SIGTERM from the Web browser process. I also have no faith that its URI fetching is actually working.

 Posted by at 3:59 am
Jan 032006

OpenVRML‘s make check was busted with most tests failing ever since I checked in EXTERNPROTO support; that’s finally fixed now.

Memory leaks persist. I’ve spent some time tracking down the Spirit-related one and I’ve managed to reproduce it in a test case. Unfortunately, upgrading to Boost 1.33.1 didn’t magically fix the problem. The leak seems to be triggered by parsing in multiple threads.

As a side effect of this activity, my URI grammar is now available in its own package.

 Posted by at 6:09 am