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[ID 20001009.009] what if cc changes?

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Jarkko Hietaniemi
October 9, 2000 15:18
[ID 20001009.009] what if cc changes?
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It was pointed out to me that we have a nasty problem now that vendors
are shipping Perl with their OSes.  This Perl is most naturally
compiled with the vendor's compiler kit.  Now, if the compiler kit is
'unbundled' building any additional modules or trying to update
existing ones will fail spectacularly because one or more of the
compiler/linker name, compiler/linker flags will mismatch.  In some
cases it could be possible and even feasible to try to probe for
alternative compilers, such as gcc. (*)

I can see some ways how Configure could help in this (by trying to
encapsulate some of the wisdom currently buried in the hints files for
easier reuse later) but I think the right place to do such runtime
heuristic fixing would be MakeMaker.  Basically, try out $Config{cc}
and if that fails, try to be smart and find out a replacement.  Most
often this would mean probing for gcc, but I can see also the opposite
happening if somebody purchases vendor's compiler kit, and wants to
start using that.  (So maybe there needs also be a way for the Perl
maintainer to sub-re-Configure these parts of the
Of course, sometimes mixing and matching libraries such as libperl,
between different compilers simply cannot be done.

(*) I will ruthlessly shoot down any attempt to discuss how evil
vendors are by 'unbundling' their compiler kits.  That is not the
problem we are trying to address here.  This issue comes up always
when the compiler used to build Perl is not available.

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