Presented by

  • Jussi Pakkanen

    Jussi Pakkanen
    @jpakkane

    Jussi Pakkanen is the creator and project lead of the Meson build system. He is currently working as a consultant. He has experience in many different fields of computing ranging from slot machines to mail sorting, computer security, Linux desktop development and gaming. His free time has been equally colorful, including things such as comics and illustration, directing movies, music and electronics. When not working on projects he might be found watching bad movies, especially sci-fi and the finest of trash from the 80s.

Abstract

The Meson build system has been used for several years to build the foundations of a modern Linux userland, including projects such as systemd, X.org, GStreamer and the Mesa graphics stack. During this time we have encountered many challenges and milestones ranging from multiple distro upgrades to bootstrapping RISC-V as a whole new processor architecture. In this talk we shall look into the many weird and wonderful/awful things that happen when dealing with the lowest layers of a modern Linux system and the things you need to consider when designing a a low level build system. We shall also look at the outcomes of these decisions and all the myriad of bizarre ways people want to build and configure their projects and how environment variables are the tool of the devil. Finally we shall try to estimate what the future shall hold for building, especially when it comes to cross-language cooperation and how these, and many other, requirements make the life of a build system developer interesting. Including that one time we were told to rewrite Meson in Perl.