This Space for Rent

Not getting it, FSF style

Have I complained about the FSF ``configure'' program before? Of course I have, because it's a classic example of a program where the developers have completely and utterly forgotten what they were originally trying to solve. But it's like a clown car of stupidity, and the "what were they *thinking*??" moments just don't stop coming.

Today, I was trying to build a pdp11 emulator (as part of Mastodon, really; since I'm trying to keep the core of Mastodon nice and tiny, what better to use as a reference than a v7 disk image from tuhs?) and discovered, to my intense dismay, that it used the FSF configure program and didn't just come with a makefile. But if I was going to compile the program, I really didn't have any choice but to fire up configure and see what it would complain about, under the assumption that I could work around most of the "I don't like your libraries!" glitches.

Well, it didn't complain about libraries. No, it complained about the system type; apparently it isn't enough that MacOS 10 is freebsd, and that it will compile most any regular old Unix program out there (up to and including levee, which does not require any of the super-modern incompatability crap that's been stitched onto Unix like an ungainly frankenstein goiter. And when configure couldn't find the system type, did it wade ahead and try to find out what things were actually provided by the system so you could go ahead and make something despite it not being a blessed by configure type of system?

No, it did not. Configure just complained and quit.

Reeeeeeeeaaaaallly useful for an autoconfigure program.

I can expect that configure might not be happy with Mastodon, because Mastodon is a Linux, but it's a Linux that's not encrusted with all the FSF bloatware that all the commercial Linuxes have, but Darwin? Darwin that ships with EVERY SINGLE ia32 mac box, and can also be found on many many MANY PPC mac boxes? Sheesh. That's not an autoconfigure program, it's an iron maiden with bright paint and smiley face decals.