[petsc-dev] [Suggestion] Configure QOL Improvements

Matthew Knepley knepley at gmail.com
Wed Oct 23 11:47:16 CDT 2019

On Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 11:24 AM Faibussowitsch, Jacob via petsc-dev <
petsc-dev at mcs.anl.gov> wrote:

> Hello All,
> How feasible would it be to accept user input during the configure process
> when installing a new package using —download-package when the dependency
> is missing? For example say you are configuring with the following options:
> ./configure —download-pragmatic
> Which depends on Metis, so halfway through configure you will receive the
> following error:
> *******************************************************************************
>          UNABLE to CONFIGURE with GIVEN OPTIONS    (see configure.log for
> details):
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Did not find package METIS needed by pragmatic.
> Enable the package using --with-metis or --download-metis
> *******************************************************************************
> Why can’t there instead be a prompt that states “[Package] depends on
> [Dependency], would you like to also download [Dependency] (y , n)?”
> whenever PETSc detects that you are missing a dependency. Configure would
> then restart from the appropriate section (wherever that may be) in the
> configuration process instead of all the way from the beginning. Use case
> for this would be for configuring on systems such as Theta where the
> configure process takes roughly 13.772 billion years to complete. Having to
> restart from the beginning every time is tedious.
> As I am largely unfamiliar with the internals of the configure process,
> this is potentially more of an involved change than I am imagining, given
> that many libraries likely have many small dependencies and hooks which
> have to be set throughout the configuration process, and so its possible
> not everything could be skipped.

We had this many years ago. It was removed because the benefits did not
outweigh the costs.



> Best,
> Jacob

What most experimenters take for granted before they begin their
experiments is infinitely more interesting than any results to which their
experiments lead.
-- Norbert Wiener

https://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~knepley/ <http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~knepley/>
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