the tyranny of configure

I’m building Gentoo Linux on my laptop. Every little package that wants to build goes off and calls a configure script, as built by gnu autoconf. Every one checks the presence of features by compiling a little test program.

This gets slow. Quite why a system can’t cache autoconf results, and tell configure that it has this, that and the other. My computers seem to spend half their time somewhere in a configure script (serves me right for using Gentoo), but there has to be a better way than the status quo.

One thought on “the tyranny of configure”

  1. Yeah, but then you’d need a mechanism to say “I just installed/updated feature X, so uncache anything that depends on it”. Otherwise you’d complain that autoconf was stupid because you just installed flex but the cache hasn’t noticed yet so pam craps out thinking it’s not there.

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