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GNU's definitely too messy for my taste

Apr 07, 2010, 15:04 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Flameeyes)

"I'm pretty sure not to say something wrong when I say that the majority of the readers of this blog would agree that Open Source and Free Software development can produce better software by many different measures. Better overall quality is just theoretical; you have more portable code, more standard code, faster coder, less memory-hungry code and so on so forth. One of the measures you can figure out is code cleanliness, but even that is very subjective. So this is why I'm talking about taste.

"So what's the problem here? Well, while I think the end result of GNU software is generally very good, I find the general code very messed up and pretty much unreadable and unusable. I have criticised gnulib's approach before regarding the way they duplicate the same code over and over, rather than provide a "portability" library to use where glibc is not used, and the system libraries don't provide enough functionalities. Lately, I also noticed that they add tons of redundant autoconf checks to project running them, some of which have been broken from time to time, in different ways (I had to fix diffutils and m4 the other day because they had an automagic dependency over libsigsegv (and that changed its ABI on the tinderbox recently)."

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