Re: Parallelization of shell scripts for 'configure' etc.

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On 2022-06-13 at 18:32 -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
> Yes, all that could be done in theory, but it'd take a lot of
> hacking and it's been decades and it hasn't happened.
> I'd rather have shell scripts "just work" in parallel with a minimum
> of fuss.

If this hasn't happened, that might be because nobody found it
important enough to dive into such task, relatively to the effort
required (or estimated).

Everyone wishes their configure scripts to finish quickly but, first
and foremost, the result must be right. Something which is easier with
serial script than with a parallel implementation.

And in the case of configure, they are a mix of boilerplate code, m4
and shell scripting, so not many people would be, in addition to
motivated by that task, proficient enough in all of those. Furthermore,
configure typically target really classic dialects, which makes even
more difficult to use modern features which could speed up the script.

Optimizing that at bash would likely be even more complex, since it
could only automatically optimize the cases that would never have side

I think that most gainings should probably come from autoconf blocks
with optimizations. Still, it might be possible through some loadable
builtin to improve the configure times.

Do you have any handy example of configure that takes too long to run?

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