I’m completely unhappy of the result of those elections, obviously I cannot tell it was unexpected (Idiots watching TV and believing are quite many) anyway today I’ll write about alternatives.
You know that I consider cmake one of the worst item available if you want to get a build system sane. I know that people usin cmake won’t use those alternatives, most of the time because they aren’t that known, fashionable or with spiffy names.
– linux (kbuild) or ffmpeg like systems (note, we need to find a name for it) since those are relatively hard to get working on new projects,
– quagmire seems to provide something you can use but is still its infancy, yet I’ll give a stab at it.
– waf seems scons done right, still it lacks the completeness and ease you can archive using the autotools the right way (reusing the good .m4 bits from aclocal and not wasting time rewriting stuff every time)
– bitbake could make some windows oriented people happy while giving the rest of the world the tools expected, but maybe those people cannot stand an heavy known markup (xml based) while loving the cmake’s one.
– autotools have the main issue that some part of them are either over engineered (libtool) or annoyingly broking from release to release (automake), still the most useful part now it’s autoconf, but iff ffmpeg configure would be chopped into the right bits to be reusable w/out feeling the pain even it could be replaced with ease, recently I discovered dolt, a replacement for libtool that maybe could help a bit.
Right now if you want to build a project autotools, with all their defects and glitches, are the best all around. If you want to get something saner probably you may start looking at dolt and quagmire, if you want to do something for everybody you may start modularizing ffmpeg configure and makefiles or linux kbuild so everybody could enjoy it. In the middle I put other tools that look more or less useful but that for a reason or another I dislike a little.
In a perfect world we don’t have people wanting to use microsoft visual studio to build opensource projects, every library would provide a pkg-config file with all we need to know to link against it, and every system has a identical way to build shared libraries (passing –shared to the compiler and linker?).
In a perfect world probably we won’t witness human stupidity with a Berlusconi III (the government).
PS: The hunt to .la files is open, please try to remove them from your system and tell us if something must be fixed. The treasure trove about pkg-config files is opened too, if you find a library not exposing one please notify us and upstream possibly with a pkg-config for them ^^