Although I started writing some entries trying to uncover the most common mistakes with autotools, I’m afraid it’s going to be difficult for me to cover the mistake sand to actually make them useful. But since I’d rather spend my time helping people with autotools rather than having to fight with crazy buildsystems when I need a new software that is not in portage, I figured out that ther eis one thing I can do to improve the situation: accept requests!
As I did write before, I already take care of fixing some common autotools mistakes when I do my checklist routine so it’s not worse to accept requests to look after some particular software’s buildsystem to help autotolizing it or to fix the autotools, or parallel make failures and stuff like that. For this reason I decided to open a channel on OFTC: #autotools-mythbuster, where you can drop in and ask questions, or request for a buildsystem to be reviewed. If you allow me, I’ll also write about the common problems found in that buildsystem if I think it might be useful for others to know.
If you don’t want to drop by in the channel, you can also write me and I’ll see to answer and check out the buildsystem. I’m tempted to open a mailing list on Google Groups or something so that eventual comments might be useful to others too, but I’m not sure how much time this will take me so I don’t want to take a bigger responsibility that I can actually handle.
I’m doing this volunteering, for free, to show the way so that I don’t have to deal with more custom build systems that just don’t work (the only non-autotools build system that I find quite good to deal with is FFmpeg, and even that I had to tweak more than a couple of times, and still does not work 100% properly). As such I don’t guarantee results, I might not be able to look after your code right away (and to begin with, when this entry will appear on Planet I’ll probably be busy and/or sleeping, since I’m writing this from my bed on the laptop). I’ll be happy to help you, and if I can get your buildsystem up to standard, that’ll be enough of a result for me (I’m happy to receive gifts though).
I’ll wait for you on #autotools-mythbuster @ OFTC then!