[mercury-users] Problem with mmake

Richard A. O'Keefe ok at atlas.otago.ac.nz
Thu May 31 14:14:34 AEST 2001

	(We could provide an environment variable, called say
	MERCURY_DEFAULT_OPTIONS, which could be used to override this
	for people who prefer to stick with --no-use-subdirs as the default.)
ARRGH!  Not *another* environment variable!

The number of environment variables that a software system may reasonable
demand is ONE.  If it needs more configuration stuff, let that be in a file
and let the unique environment variable point to it.  In the case of
something like Mercury, one environment variable for the compiler and one
environment variable for compiled programs makes sense.

What's wrong with env MERCURY_OPTIONS='...' ./xml?
Try typing it over and over again.  So you get lazy, and make the variable
global, and now it applies to other programs entirely, ones to which it should
not be applied.

One way to handle run-time-configuration environment variables would be to
have a compiler/linker option

    --rtenv MECURY_FROBNITZ "default"

where you would specify what environment variable name to use and what
default value to use if it is not set.

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