Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

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Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby Yurii Cherkasov » 10. May 2018, 16:03

Is there any plan to migrate build toolchain from kBuild to more modern, like CMake? If so, our team is willing to participate, but we definitely need more participants, as well as developers with deep VirtualBox expertise
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby socratis » 10. May 2018, 16:09

What would the advantages of such a migration be?
Any estimate of what it would take (roughly)?
What problems would it solve?
Why? Just because?
Are you familiar with the principle "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!"?

Moving to the "OSE" from the "Suggestions" section.
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby michaln » 11. May 2018, 13:37

There is no such plan. If you want to build VirtualBox using something else, you're more than welcome to do so.
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby michaln » 11. May 2018, 13:38

And just to be clear, "modern" is an utterly worthless descriptor in this context. The only thing that matters is "does it work"?
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby Yurii Cherkasov » 16. May 2018, 11:11

socratis wrote:What would the advantages of such a migration be?
Any estimate of what it would take (roughly)?
What problems would it solve?
Why? Just because?
Are you familiar with the principle "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!"?

Moving to the "OSE" from the "Suggestions" section.


Not "just because", I have enough experience to weight carefully all pro and contra of any migration. Sometimes migration is necessary to keep project alive, especially in Open Source community. I know a very good OpenSource developer, who was really interested to participate, but changed his decision with the only reason of out-of-date toolchain.
Yeah, it works right now, but some day you may wake up and realize that last developer who had expertise with your build toolchain is retired. Even your documentation states that unfortunately there are "one and a half" developer in the world who knows kmk internals with the expert level.

Choosing tools, including tools for migration, I take in account two factors - minor factor, is the technology "cool", and major - how many developers in the world familiar with that..
I do not insist on my position as the only genuine, but notice, CMake is de-facto the most popular build toolchain in the world. You declare goals to attract more Open Source developers, I'm just giving an idea how to make your project even more attractive.
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby Yurii Cherkasov » 16. May 2018, 11:15

michaln wrote:And just to be clear, "modern" is an utterly worthless descriptor in this context. The only thing that matters is "does it work"?


It can work being written in COBOL. Do you think you can attract. many developers?
Yeah, I will try at least. If we'd be lucky enough to receive some significant result, I'll be happy to present it to the community
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby Whiskeyjack » 16. May 2018, 11:48

Personally I will be more than happy to see VirtualBox being built by CMake. That said (as fas as I know) the development team has no plans switching the built system which they have been using and improving for more than a decade. There are more pressing and critical tasks waiting attention. Also I am sure when you guys have specific questions during CMake (or whatever) migration the community will be very happy to help. But please don't ask vague questions which means at the end "I dont want do it myself, please do it for me".
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby socratis » 18. May 2018, 00:18

I'm not a heavy duty developer, but I don't think I would care if it was built manually by a series of drone bees that were writing assembly with their dance. I couldn't care less. That's not where the development of VirtualBox is happening! You're not going to fix a HostOnly problem, or a snapshot issue in Cmake or kmk.

I believe that as a developer that you are, you're focusing on the wrong problem to solve...
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby mpack » 18. May 2018, 13:37

Yurii Cherkasov wrote:It can work being written in COBOL. Do you think you can attract. many developers?

I think you are operating under a mistaken assumption. I don't believe Oracle is trying to attract developers. It's an open source project yes, but not a community development project. The developers are all employees of Oracle, hired for the tool experience they need (or ability to be trained in those tools). So they have procedures which already work, you'd have to explain why it would benefit them commercially to make a big change.
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Re: Suggestion: using more modern build toolchain

Postby michaln » 22. May 2018, 09:56

The problem is that this is completely backwards. "You" (not talking about anyone in particular) want someone else (Oracle) to do something that benefits you, something that Oracle would have to invest significant time and effort (e.g. money) into. At the end of the exercise, Oracle might end up with something better, or something worse, than what Oracle already has. What are the chances of that happening? Anyone should be able to answer that.
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