Re: [AMBER-Developers] Amber configure script

From: Volodymyr Babin <>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 10:08:14 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, October 26, 2009 22:11, case wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 23, 2009, Volodymyr Babin wrote:
>> config.x (.h, that is not really a header)
> Well, it acts like a header, in the sense that all the Makefiles begin
> with "include ../config.h" (or similar). And, it defines common variables
> that are used in many places.

I am aware of its purpose, but

> And, I think people expect the output of a
> "configure" script to be a file called "config.h".

This is not entirely correct: config.h is indeed a result of
gnu autoconf generated configure (generated from
that contains C/C++ #defines (and other preprocessor stuff);
configure also generates Makefiles (from Makefile.ins).

> Whether it looks like
> a true C-header file or not is of lesser importance.

I do not make the rules; just saying that it looks strange and
may convey negative connotations to a person trying to configure/make.
It is like if someone decided to use, e.g., letter R instead of H
for hydrogens.

>> There should also be a README file around
>> (or a webpage, or whatever), that summarizes useful combinations
>> of various flags, compilers, etc.
> This would be great, although I don't think it relieves us of the task
> of trying to make the "configure" script as smart as possible. Most of
> "tips for running Amber on <architecture x>" on the web site are way out
> of date, and we should try to get them updated over the next few months.

This is not exactly what I meant. I was merely saying that technically
configure should not be long and unreadable keeping target-specific
information somewhere else (in a README file that comes along with the
configure, for example). An easy and obvious way to implement this is to
pass everything though environment. Then it is up to the user to choose
the flags/etc (there could be several files around containing
'export FC=gfortran ...' so that a lazy and ignorant user could do
'source && ./configure'; that would be very convenient for
me -- I would have,, gfortran-gdb, etc
around without the need to edit the config.h manually). It was just a
comment anyway -- I don't have time right now to try it in practice.

Have a great day,


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Received on Tue Oct 27 2009 - 07:30:03 PDT
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