[Python-Dev] Evaluated cmake as an autoconf replacement

David Cournapeau cournape at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 20:14:30 CEST 2009

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 2:59 AM, Antoine Pitrou <solipsis at pitrou.net> wrote:
> Jeffrey Yasskin <jyasskin <at> gmail.com> writes:
>> The other popular configure+make replacement is scons.
> I can only give uninformed information (!) here, but in one company I worked
> with, the main project decided to switch from scons to cmake due to some huge
> performance problems in scons. This was in 2005-2006, though, and I don't know
> whether things have changed.

They haven't - scons is still slow. Python is not that big, though
(from a build POV) ?

I would think the bootstrap problem to be much more significant. I
don't find the argument "many desktop have already python" very
convincing - what if you can't install it, for example ? AFAIK, scons
does not run on jython or ironpython.

> If you want to investigate Python-based build systems, there is waf (*), which
> apparently started out as a fork of scons (precisely due to the aforementioned
> performance problems). Again, I have never tried it.

Waf is definitely faster than scons - something like one order of
magnitude. I am yet very familiar with waf, but I like what I saw -
the architecture is much nicer than scons (waf core amount of code is
almost ten times smaller than scons core), but I would not call it a
mature project yet.

About cmake: I haven't looked at it recently, but I have a bit of hard
time believing python requires more from a build system than KDE. The
lack of autoheader is not accurate, if
only because kde projects have it:


Whether using it compared to the current system is really a win for
python, I have no idea.


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