Autoconf + Automake
In my opinion Autoconf + Automake is bad, because:
I don’t like it. Four years (maybe not long enough, but…) being a programmer in *nix environment, I never want to touch or event to read about "What is Autoconf/Automake". OK, I lie. I have read it several time, try to understand what it is, how to used it, but it does not make sense to me, since I first know it.
It’s become hard to maintain a source code. Source program become large and large, to make the program can run in other system. It’s mean more "if", "ifndef". BAD. Even if the process to make the source-that-can-compile-in-your-system is handled automatically by Autoconf program it self, but programmer still need to create some configuration for Autoconf + Automake by hand.
It is not a magnet. Remember that auto* itself is a program that could have a bug in it. Make a newbie hard to understand the flow of program. The only way to make a newbie can read the code is by "make" the source first.
Complexity. Still in my opinion, Autoconf + Automake make it complex automatically.
Why don’t separated the original source code, and then create another source directory for patch for different system?
In my stupid example:
original-source/ a.c # 1024 Lines b.c # 512 Lines main.c # 256 Lines Makefile # 128 Lines patch/ Linux-x86/ --> Link to original-source sun-x86/ a.c # 512 (max) Lines b.c # 256 (max) Lines main.c # 128 (max) Lines Makefile # 64 (max) Lines patch.sh # 5-8 Lines
When user want to compile this source for sun-x86 they go to "patch/sun-x86" directory, run the "patch.sh", go back to original-source and then run "make" like usual.
Programmer who want to fix the program based on their system, will create another patch in their system patch directory without touching the "original-source", and make original and another system maintainer happy.
A Newbie that want to fix a bug or want to contribute to the program can start from the "original-source".