tromey: I have found
automake to be a very useful tool over the years, especially when you
take its constraints into account (portable make, shell, etc). Within
the GNOME community, my biggest problem has
been having to explain myself every time I use a feature not found in
Many of the hackers are not even looking at the recent 1.6 releases
because their packages break with them. The irony is that the parts of
Makefile.am's that break are usually work arounds for bugs or
defficiencies in automake 1.4 (many of which have been addressed in
1.6). It is depressing to hear people complaining about bugs in old
automake while refusing to upgrade (and this is for bleeding edge gnome
development; not maintenance branches of the various packages).
I believe part of the reason for this is the large gap in time between
the 1.4 release and 1.5/1.6 (about 2 years, IIRC). People grew too used
to all the quirks and bugs in 1.4 that when they got fixed, people
started complaining about it. With more frequent releases, these bugs
would probably have been recognised as such, rather than features.
Another project that could do with another release is
libtool. There are a number of
known bugs in the 1.4.2 release (such as not being able to do a
buildroot install, which really hurts packaging), and a few more
architectures are supported in CVS. Putting out a new maintenance
release would be a _really_ good idea.
Overall, the new autoconf and automake releases are a lot nicer to work
with, compared to the 2.13/1.4 combo.