Alan DeKok aland at
Mon Jun 27 18:58:08 CEST 2005

Stefan.Neis at wrote:
> >   Did I ever mention I hate libtool?
> Is their anybody who doesn't? The only thing
> I don't understand is why it is used by so
> many packages...

  Because the package maintainers:

  a) don't want to write CC & LD flag nonsense for every stupid
     platform out there
  b) don't have the time to re-write libtool.

  Libtool is annoying, badly written, confusing, arcane and pathetic.
But for what it does, it saves the package maintainers enough time
that it's worth putting up with the crap.

  Also, the existence and wide-spread use of libtool makes it harder
to deploy any better solution.

  That being said, I've started looking recently at interpreted
languages, and virtual machines.  There's lua (~6k lines of C) and
Squirrel (~6k lines of C++).  I'm not happy with the syntax of lua, or
the C++ nature of squirrel.  I think there's a need for a C-only
implementation of something with a better syntax than lua.

  Both languages are also missing a few key concepts, and once those
are added, the resulting language would be very, very, nice.

  Why is this relevant?  Well, once you have a ~6k LOC language, you
can write the language so that it doesn't *need* libtool or autoconf
nonsense.  Then, you write libtool & autoconf in that language.

  Compiling a language & running it may actually be faster than
running autoconf, which is a hokey shell script.  Same thing goes for

  Alan DeKok.

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