This is the story of my life so far: 69 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
In 2004, AdaCore was in fact two companies: Ada Core Technologies Inc. in North America (New York) and ACT Europe Ltd in Europe (Paris). I was a full time consultant (not an employee) of the American company, but I worked mostly with the French people.
In 2004, when I said that "gpr2make", the "Make file builder" that we were using for multi-language applications, was not the way to go, my usual interlocutors in Paris, including the guy who created gpr2make and Cyrille Comar, the boss of the French company did not agree with me.
Their arguments were that gpr2make was working pretty well and that developing a new tool would take a long time (18 months) to be at the same level as gpr2make.
After I tested locally the critical part of the new tool I was proposing, gprmake, I replied that it would take me only three weeks to be at the same level as gpr2make.
gprmake would still invoke gnatmake, our Ada only builder, for the Ada part of a multi language application.
All our discussions were done through e-mail and broadcasted to all the technical people in both companies.
In New York, Robert Dewar, the boss of the American company, was following these discussions and saw that there was a major disagreement between myself and the French squad.
On the occasion of a New York visit by Cyrille Comar, Robert Dewar told me to come to New York and we would have a meeting about gpr2make and gprmake.
In the beginning of the meeting, Cyrille explained that gpr2make was a Make file builder and immediately Robert replied that the semantic of Makefiles was not well defined at all. When I heard that, I immediately knew that I will be able to create gprmake, and indeed that what happened. Less than three weeks later, I made the first internal release of gprmake, and not too long after it was released to our customers.
As I said before, gprmake was still using gnatmake for the Ada part.
Several years after, AdaCore decided that we should have a new version of gprmake that would be independent from gnatmake and do the building jobs for all languages.
This new version, that I also created initially, was given the name of "gprbuild", and is still in use today, while gpr2make and gprmake have been abandoned.
Continue to Part 127
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