[pacman-dev] interest in using meson over autotools?

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Sun Jul 8 20:51:52 UTC 2018

On 07/08/2018 04:39 PM, Dave Reisner wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 08, 2018 at 06:10:09PM +0200, Andreas Baumann wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Sorry, if this message is a little bit out of order, I only just
>> subscribed to the pacman-dev group.
>> I want to raise the issue of bootstrapping:
>> - automake, autoconf, libtool and friends need m4 and perl and bash
>> - meson needs python
>> Bootstrapping m4 and perl is comparatively easy to bootstrapping python.
> So then build a minimal python as a "stage 1". You only need libffi and
> expat, which themselves have no build dependencies beyond glibc.
> Upstream has heard this argument before, thus:
> http://mesonbuild.com/FAQ.html#why-is-meson-implemented-in-python-rather-than-programming-language-x
> http://mesonbuild.com/Use-of-Python.html
>> Porting to other architectures is easier if there are not too many
>> dependencies.
>> See also my experiments here:
>> https://git.archlinux32.org/archlinux32/bootstrap32
>> and some porting work from oaken-source (Parabola):
>> https://github.com/oaken-source/parabola-riscv64-bootstrap
> I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to get out of these. The reality
> is that I don't really buy your argument. If you're bootstrapping Arch
> Linux, you need to build Python anyways. You'll have to build Meson in
> order to build systemd. You'll have to build Python in order to run
> pacman's unit tests (you should absolutely care about these for
> bootstrapping). Changing your bootstrap order to accomodate this doesn't
> really seem that onerous.

Anyways I pointed out that meson has cross-compilation support, and
cross-compilation is already in play, so this should not be onerous.

He agreed that this makes bootstrapping no longer an issue.

I'd actually forgotten that the testsuite was in python :D but
bootstrapping generally means building a minimal system, often with
tests disabled, sufficient to cleanly rebuild everything with tests
re-enabled. So I'm not sure that itself was a blocker.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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