Alternatives to waf

Richard Laager rlaager at
Sun Dec 10 19:03:37 UTC 2017

On 12/09/2017 09:14 PM, Hal Murray wrote:
> What are the alternatives?  Are there any good ones?

This is one of those areas where it is easy to (legitimately) criticize,
but hard to find a correct answer.

I'm a (largely inactive) developer on Pidgin. Over the years, we've seen
a number of proposals to switch away from autotools. Unfortunately, none
of those build systems seem to have gotten much traction.

The latest build system proposed there, that does seem to be getting
some traction, is Meson. GNOME is getting behind Meson, for example. I
don't know much about Meson, so don't consider this a recommendation to
switch to it. I suspect it is a two-phase build system. Also, the
website says, "supported languages include C, C++, D, Fortran, Java,
Rust", which notably does not include Python or Go. So even if it is
gaining traction, it may not be an appropriate fit for this project, at
least right now.

waf is working for NTPsec. While I wish NTPsec wasn't using something
obscure, because it is hard to find help on obscure things, it's not
necessarily worth switching. The in-tarball-blob part of waf is more
problematic for me as a Debian packager, but it has a clear and
Debian-standard solution, which I have successfully used.


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