[Monetdb-developers] configure & *_config.h include files

Fabian Groffen Fabian.Groffen at cwi.nl
Sun Sep 24 21:31:54 CEST 2006

This post is OT, but I felt the need to formulate an answer.

On 24-09-2006 21:01:30 +0200, Jens Teubner wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 24, 2006 at 03:04:55PM +0200, Fabian Groffen wrote:
> > ... or make it easier for users and yourself and make it all one
> > package, where you just do --{enable,disable}-{sql,xquery,...} at the
> > configure call.  Greatly eases packaging too.
> No.

We simply disagree.  Not only we.  But then again, I'm not even
surprised anymore when people can't get MonetDB to do something useful,
let alone just use it, because people seem to "on purpose" make it as
hard as possible to make the system usable from a normal user

No pun intended.  This is not a personal remark.

It's just weird that it can be partly done for windows users, but not
for a much bigger group of our users.

>  -- I want to spend my development time with programming and *not* with
>     compiling MonetDB over and over, just because there have been other

As long as other people commit to your code, this will always be the
case, no matter how large or small.

>  -- Pathfinder is a standalone and retargetable compiler.  Most of my

The part of pathfinder that makes MonetDB/XQuery is a piece that should
be easily obtainable and usable, to make the pathfinder sources as
useful as possible to people who are not experienced developers.

> Throwing all our code into a single big pot would only heal the single
> symptom that we are currently observing.  Even worse, it would lead to a
> bigger mess in our code, instead of enforcing discipline and stable,
> well-designed interfaces.

Good API/interfacing doesn't seem to be much related to where the code
is located, but more to who is writing it, IMHO.

> Other open source projects, by the way, have had to spend a lot of
> effort to go just the opposite way, from a bloated monolithic project
> to a nice, modularized software (I'm thinking of the XFree project
> here).

(Modular) XOrg is a couple of times bigger than MonetDB.  Sure, I've
nothing against modularising of code.  But it should not harm the
usability of the code.  With MonetDB, it is clear to me that the current
setup greatly harms the general usability of the software, and results
in all kinds of insane decisions (e.g. MapiClient supports all
languages and has semantic knowledge on those, while Mserver doesn't
know anything and needs to be instructed using a sequence of commands in
order to let it use such language.).

I believe that for MonetDB's existance in the database world it would be
good if people (devs) would see the product as a whole.  Ok, I admit
immediately, that has close to nothing to do with research.

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