This Space for Rent

All software sucks.

Nothing like being sick to make the old creative juices dry up. And if it's not just being sick, it's having to beat on R*dh*t 8.0 to make it actually work. I've been writing a howto to describe how to build build machines for our (rh based) linux distribution at work, and part of that is picking apart the wonderfully ad-hoc method that people used to add things to the build process. It's, um, fun, particularly when I encounter parts of the build process (that we use for making operating systems that bring in tens of millions of dollars of income a year) that involve going into someone's home directory to pick out binaries.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. No, I'm here to talk about objective C. You see, part of our build process uses objective C (and this is the only company that I've worked at --and this includes a brief stint of migrant labor at *ppl* -- that I've actually seen using objective C for anything), and it was being built by the traditional method of building the code up from a tarball instead of using an objc rpm. So, as part of my howto, I decided that I'd try installing objc from a package instead of by hand.

I did that, and installed *objc*3.2-7*.i386.rpm from the R*dh*t cds. Then I tried to run the build process and watched it fail to build the code that required objc. Hmm. That's not good. I ran it by hand, and watched the autoconfigure code report that it couldn't find objc. That's funny, sez I, because I know I installed the objc packages.

I looked. Yes, *objc*3.2-7* is there, gcc-objc, libobjc, and even compat-gcc-objc. So why isn't it working?

A (very) short investigation led to the discovery that the code couldn't find objc, and that was because none of the g-ddamn objc packages even bothered to include an objc front end program.

A longer investigation (using xrpm to grind through all of the 900 or so rpms that come with r*dh*t 8.0) found, um, nothing; not even the tiniest sausage of an objc executable or wrapper script.

How, um, useful. I'll bet that cuts way down on the bug reports, too.


Oh yes. I've recently beaten on a src install that couldn't find the gtkhtml libraries that were plainly there and where they were suppose to be. Except they weren't registered with pkg-config so the configure script kept barfing.

Hope you heal to full wellness soon. Around here, folks have been having the one and two day intestinal something. Explosive discharging from both ends for a full day, then lung congestion for a full day, then several days of getting any endurance back. Short illness, but extremely unpleasant. I've avoided it even though I've cared for two of the victims.

Lynn Fri Jan 7 09:57:25 2005

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