MPlayer core team also hates autosh*t
I fully agree with the article, at least the rants part :)
Autoconf is a good idea, but a very broken implementation.
Automake is just useless, gnu make is powerful enough to write short, efficient rules in it. No need to generate 50k+ files.
libtool ... ehh. it should not been created. it IS the real nightmare, when comes to compatibility/versions.
I understood that libtool was created to workaround linker incompatibilities, but since 99% of current opensource softwares compile only with the gnu build tools anyway (due to use of gnu-specific features), it lost the goal.
I vote for hand-written ./configure scripts, it even works for such large projects like MPlayer!
If you write it modular (using functions etc) then it's short (compared to sometimes 500-900k autoconf-generated scripts) and clear, readable. Even Joe user can easily read and understand/fix/change/extend/etc the configure script.
(not mentioning the <30 lines makefiles)
Although a good standard for configure option naming and use is really needed.
> PERL is nice. It has great flexibility
> and amazing text processing power.
> Unfortunately, it is slow. I would
> really love to see an open source spam
> fighting solution written in a compiled
> language to help improve scalability.
I've started a project spamassassin-c, a rewrite of the spamassassin engine in plain hand-optimized C/asm code. Using libpcre for regexp matching, with precompiled regexp ruleset compiled into the binary.
It was around 20 times faster than SA, with a bit limited featuers (i had to left some complicated regexp out, as libpcre couldn't handle it, and SA also have some rules implemented as perl code). Finally it turned out, that perl SA is slow because it had to re-compile regexps and do whoel perl startup at every mail. They also noticed this, and created client-server approach, ie spamd+spamc. So the rule matching code is running in spamd, with precompiled regexps, hashed searches initilaized at startup, resulting in a 10 times faster performance. So my stripped down C version was only 2 times faster than spamd. I guess if i implement all the SA features, it wouldn't be faster more than 20-30%, so it simply doesn't worth it. I've stopped my project.