[freetds] Can configure but failes with make

Lowden, James K LowdenJK at bernstein.com
Thu Apr 17 14:56:45 EDT 2003

> From: Hirsch, Jonathan [mailto:jonathan.hirsch at gs.com]
> Sent: April 17, 2003 1:02 PM
> Yea something changed, I switched to a solaris 2.8 server 
> with a later build of the gnu tools. 

That's good.  :-)  

> I uploaded at least three separate config files at your
> request to source forge. No one ever got back to me except to 
> say that the files were not complete. 

I'm sorry about that, Jon.  I stopped looking at your files when I realized
1) I was out of my depth and 2) it wasn't really a FreeTDS problem per se.
Also, I got the sense, perhaps incorrect, that you thought someone *had* to
look at those files, which didn't encourage me.  Nevertheless, I'm sure if
someone had both the time and the skill to help you, you'd have had an

> The reason why I was having trouble was because
> of my limited knowledge of C and my serious lack of 
> understanding of the configure program. 

That's one reason.  Another is you didn't provide us with a complete picture
of your situation.  I'm not being defensive or petulant; I'm trying to give
you a sense of how it is to answer questions from strangers, where both the
person and the machine are unknown to me.  

My first observation was on 9 April, "sometimes the build tools have to be
brought up to snuff first" and early on I asked if you had compiled other
GNU software on the machine in question.  You told me, sure, lots of stuff.
Yet every issue you posted indicated a local misconfiguration.  I spent a
lot of time reading your posts and puzzling over what must be happening.  

If you'd said, "I'm not really sure this box is set up right to compile
FreeTDS.  How do I ensure my environment is copasetic?" I think you would
have gotten squared away sooner, even though the question is really
off-topic for this forum.  

In the end, you set up your environment such that the compiler and linker
could find their supporting files, and everything worked.  As expected!  

> I'm stating for the record that I don't like the
> configure program. Others may disagree but I'm entitled to my 
> opinion. A
> Makefile file with comments where I should specify my 
> includes and libs would have been easier for me to negotiate with. 

OK, I won't debate you, except to suggest the problem may be harder than you
realize.  Many smart people have looked at this issue and a lot of them came
to the conclusion that it's too hard to write such a Makefile, at least for
the average Makefile author.  It's certainly beyond my competence.  You
might want to look into the history, which you can find in the Autotools
book and their manuals, all online.  

The largest system I know of that's distributed with a bare Makefile is the
IMAP server from the University of Washington.  Their FAQ supports your pov.

> I am unable to compile on our Solaris 2.6 server no matter what I do. 

I'm fairly sure others are using 2.6 successfully.  If that box is still
available for you to tinker with, you might want to have a look at
www.pkgsrc.org.  That's the closest thing to a magical setup you'll find,

The NetBSD packaging folks decided to generalize their packaging system
because a lot of them had experiences like yours.  It's hard to get the
environment right, and harder still to manage a suite of free software
without a package manager.  And a lot of them get paid to take care of
Solaris boxes.  To install FreeTDS within the pkgsrc system, you just "cd
/usr/pkgsrc/database/freetds; make install".  They take care of making sure
your -I and -L flags, etc. are right.  

> I am
> curious that nowhere on the freetds web pages it states the minimum
> requirements to compile or recommended versions to use to compile. 

Our policy is to write standards-compliant code in the most portable way we
can, to accomodate every reasonably capable compiler.  We don't make use of
any GNU extensions.  Whenever we get a compilation problem report, we adjust
the code.  So far, there's only been one "use a better compiler" answer that
I recall: the one that comes with the base Solaris installation is AIUI
known to be broken.  Not being a Solarist, I don't know the details.  But it
seems that everyone who's ever tried to compile anything on Solaris does.  

Beyond that, no one knows a minimum.  

I hope FreeTDS does what you want.  


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