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The JIVE specific CASA/casacore (formerly: AIPS++) code started its life at the end of the '90s of last century of the previous millenium as subsidiary project under the AIPS++ code tree. As such it borrowed its project structure and build system from the parent project, AIPS++. This, obviously, was a disaster and was a bugger to compile. But sometimes it worked. Then the AIPS++ project dissolved and became CASA ("Common Astronomy Software blah"), insofar as you were ALMA, then you were common. Other instruments/techniques (e.g. VLBI) were deemed not so common and thus left in the dust. Some enterpreneuring spirits got a wild idea: cut the useful bits out of CASA and make those available as library. This of course was 'casacore' - the useful core components of CASA. JIVE's utilities never were very taxing on the full CASA stack and would do very well with just the useful bits. But now there was a fork in the CASA/casacore road: the JIVE code could either be part of CASA (and use that build system) OR it was a standalone project which just needed to link agains the useful core components of CASA to work. So, a second, home-grown, build system was attached to the code structure and a user could choose which build system to use by using: make -f makefile (CASA/AIPS++ subproject) make -f Makefile (set up manually to link against casacore) Following the fork in the road parallel developments were developed in parallel in both camps. CASA, obviously, *also* needed useful bits to do its smart stuff onto, but both projects made changes independently because each operated on their own version of the code. A minor effort was in place to keep both implementations of core functionality a bit in sync, and often unsuccesfully of course. After long enough time had passed for the ego factors to have dwindled into a small fractional number and new software developers had been (forcibly) working in- and with this situation had had enough and cried out "No more!". And it was decided that CASA should usurp casacore (the smart people were in the casacore camp, you can tell) to have once more a single set of shared useful bits. Then came the time that the hardware at JIVE these JIVE specific tools were run on had to be replaced with Newer And Faster Stuff (tm). Of course the staff at JIVE, not being half idiots themselves, having seen this fork- and merger process unfold before their very eyes, decided it might not be a bad idea to re-organise the JIVE CASA software and bring it kicking + screaming into the 21st century. The latter not only because of the core-ification of CASA but also various build systems and build-system-generation tools rose, shone and fell over the life time of the JIVE CASA code. The "autotools" once were "A Thing" but by 2019 (for it is 2019's seconds, days and weeks flowing as this is typed) their Thing was a Thing Of The Past; it would seem that CMake had come out victoriously in the great build-system war of the early years of the 3rd millenium after Christ, J. Thus was said and done. Without the need to be structured along the lines laid down in the old runes of the AIPS++ of before, the source code files could find a new home in a saner organization, guided by the best of practices as preached by contemporary CMake gurus (of which there seemed to be many, with slightly differing interpretations of "best", but I digress). Configuring and building the JIVE CASA code should now be a more pleasurable experience than it ever was, although I cannot deliver you from the evil that CASA is. Things will get better but never quite allright.
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