A CASCADE of Patches

I want to get Free-CAD working on BeleniX and have been going through the dependencies. One of them is OpenCASCADE that I started to build one week back. Since then it has been a tale of pain till finally once week later I do have a successful build.

Firstly the software is enormous having thousands of files. For eg. after a make install I find that it installs 15600+ header files! I started building it with GCC4.4.1 on BeleniX. Secondly their document mentions support for building with Sun Forte Compiler on Solaris 8 – primitive info. Obviously the combination of OpenSolaris platform + Mesa + Gcc 4.4.1 is untested. Once I started I came across some usual issues: The configure script assumes Sun Studio/Forte and has options not supported by Gcc, some headers assumed Sun Studio/Forte, needed proper declaration for bcopy, replace usage of ieee_handler with fex_set_handling  etc. After those I started coming across variable names like SS, CS that conflict with predefined macros for x86 register names on OpenSolaris. I have seen this on many occassions in KDE and other software in places.

However after manually patching about 15 files from 15 build failures, I started to wonder how many more. So to test I ran a simple command: find . -type f | xargs grep -w SS. Believe it or not there were hundreds of matches! From a hunch I started a round-robin search with all the possible register names and for the record the following are used: CS, SS, DS, GS, FS, ES, ESP, EIP in about 465 different files. The only option now was to whip up a simple shell script to do a global search and replace. The resulting generated patchset is huge and I am not keeping it as a patch! I have embedded the script in the pkgbuild spec file.

At the end of this all I found that the Makefile does not have 100% DESTDIR support in spite of it using the GNU autotools. So I had to patch Makefile.in and that resulted in a full build. After packaging I discovered a packaging issue and had to re-run make install. Even though the source tree is already built that resulted in another full build! Looks like broken Makefiles.

After an exasperating several days I do have a package. I had faced this usage of common variable names clashing in the namespace in several different software like for eg. in Celestia 1.6 that I built last week. It uses the obvious “sun” to represent Sol. This is however a predefined macro in Gcc on OpenSolaris. Granted that this can be worked around by using “-Usun”(Unsafe ?) in CFLAGS and OpenSolaris exposing register defines in headers by default looks like a bug, it is nevertheless a really, REALLY BAD IDEA to use obvious, common, short variable names in your software.


3 thoughts on “A CASCADE of Patches

  1. Pedro

    FWIW, FreeBSD has an OpenCascade port. You may want to get in touch with the maintainer (Thierry Thomas) and share patches.
    We also have a port of FreeCAD but you are warned that it’s full of linuxisms.

    1. moinakg Post author

      I now have working ports of FreeCAD and OpenCascade. I will definitely submit the patches upstream and contact the person you mentioned.


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