Auto* frustrations

Rivet has been seeing some increased visibility these days, but it seems that people are encountering a great deal of difficulty installing it due to problems with autotools.

This is extremely frustrating to me, because the code itself works fine. It’s all the installation crap that always seems to have problems, on all major platforms. I built and tested the latest version on Ubuntu, and everything was working fine. But there have been problem reports for Fedora, MacOS X (although that’s not an autotools error – Karl Lehenbauer wasn’t even able to make autotools work for MacOSX, so we switched back to the Tcl based build system) and Windows.

I really want this stuff to work, and people aren’t going to use it if they can’t build and install it. On the other hand, people need to help out on the platforms they are knowledgeable with because I’m limited in what I can do on certain platforms.

On the whole, it’s all quite frustrating and leaves me even more unhappy with autotools than I was before. The Rivet code is good, and we’re happy with it, but we find ourselves with something that feels like a …barrier…between us and our users.


Problems are getting cleared up, but it’s still frustrating. As everyone who’s worked with auto* knows, debugging these things is sometimes a black art.

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