On Nov 12, 2007, at 5:28 AM, Mark Rowe wrote:

On 13/11/2007, at 00:00, Charles Woloszynski wrote:

I am working on a port of WebKit on Qt to a PowerPC platform. Please make sure that we don't break the Qt port in this switch. I am comfortable with autotools, so that is not a big deal for me. I am concerned, however, that this will cause a fork with the work being done by the Trolltech folks (since I think that they are primarily qmake-promoters).

Can we get some feedback from Trolltech on their ability to accept a switch to autotools for Webkit/Qt so we can switch to one new engine for all these ports?

It would obviously be great if build systems could be shared between ports, but at the same time I don't think that this desire to share build systems should introduce obstacles to the adoption of WebKit ports in the wider open source community. The maintainers of the Qt and wxWidgets ports have a desire to keep their build systems similar to those used by the underlying toolkits of their port as it greatly simplifies their integration work. The same is true of the Apple ports and their build systems.

While the introduction of another build system would introduce slightly more overhead for changes that require modifications be made to the build system, such changes are relatively infrequent and are typically simple additions or removals of files. The extra work required would be small in comparison to the benefit that the GTK+ port would gain from using a more native build system.

As someone who adds and removes files frequently, I do find the build system proliferation to be a nontrivial cost. However, I think the worst build systems from this point of view are ones that aren't easily human-editable, which I think is mainly the Xcode and Visual Studio project files. If we add more build systems, it would be really helpful to put up a page that tells you what steps you should take if you add or remove files. Maybe we could even write a script to add a file to or remove a file from all build systems.


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