If we use autoconf for matplotlib, we may end up using a different compiler (or compiler options) than what was used to compile Python itself. This can lead to incompatibilities that will be very hard to figure out. As far as I understand, using setup.py by default uses the same compiler and appropriate compiler/linker options as was used for Python itself.


--- On Mon, 1/7/13, Benjamin Root <ben.root@ou.edu> wrote:

From: Benjamin Root <ben.root@ou.edu>
Subject: Re: [matplotlib-devel] autoconf+python
To: "Thomas Kluyver" <thomas@kluyver.me.uk>
Cc: "matplotlib development list" <matplotlib-devel@lists.sourceforge.net>
Date: Monday, January 7, 2013, 12:24 PM

On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM, Thomas Kluyver <thomas@kluyver.me.uk> wrote:
On 7 January 2013 16:57, Benjamin Root <ben.root@ou.edu> wrote:
I was just reading some comments from Richard Stallman on ./ when I noticed that he pointed out a useful autoconf feature that was added somewhat recently.  Essentially, this feature would allow one to do a build/install of a python module using the "./configure; make install" approach, if one chooses.  Maybe it should be something to consider adding to our build system?

My 2 cents: I took over the maintenance of a Python project built by autotools. The build system felt more complex than the actual application - a fantastic world of .am files generating .in files generating Makefiles, which themselves were packed with abstractions. I had little idea how to change anything in the build process, and before long I ripped it out in favour of setup.py, despite all distutils' flaws.

I'm sure that's more a question of my experience than of autotools, but I'd think twice before adding it to a project.

Best wishes,

That's a very good point.  I certainly don't want to add significant complexity to our build system.  We certainly have enough of it as-is.  I was hoping that there was a way to complement our setup.py approach.  In other words, "python setup.py install" would be our primary means of build/install, while allowing for "make install" as an alternative.  I have yet to actually look into how this current autoconf feature would work and if that is even possible.

Ben Root

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