Friday, August 27, 2004

Software Department

Again, I work for the man in a department that provides software for the chip designers. It's about as close as Intel comes to caring about software (translation: Intel only cares about chips).

The department only pays lip service to software development. The latest thing is the build environment. In short, it sucks. My team happens to have a build environment that is reasonable (thanks to Tim J). Well, the department is mandating that everyone use the same, sucky, build environment.

I understand that the build team needs to know how to build all the tools, and it should be the same between all the different tools and engines. And they've worked hard to make it a little less sucky, but it still sucks. And sure, I realize the build team has to juggle different political battles (we have people in Oregon, California, and Haifa Israel). But come on.

This is essentially what you have to do to build:


source /path/to/script -tool
setenv OUTPUT something
setenv TEMP somethingelse
setenv DONT_USE_LOG true
setenv LAST_VAR anothersomething
gmake


Huh? What is all that stuff?

You can download and build pretty much any application for Linux with:


./configure
gmake


And, arguably, you wouldn't need to run ./configure in our environment if you knew where everything was (compiler/linker/vendor libraries) - which we should b/c we're all using the same computers. So really, all you should have to type is gmake!

The other thing that's really stupid, is that you have to write a Makefile for each of the libraries that you build. The Makefile for each of our libraries is 2 lines long - each and every one of them. The build environment they want to push on us has 30-40 lines.

Anyway, I'm all railed up. My manager is behind me, but it's just stupid that I should have to waste any effort to fight this battle. No self-respecting software company in the world would put up with our build environment.

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