Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] automated test and build error
From: Guy Harris <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:52:25 -0700
Gabor Szabo wrote:

Side track
I tried to build wireshark after checking out from SVN.

Both  autogen.sh and configure seemed to report success but then
make - after some work - failed with:

   Neither lex nor flex was found

After installing flex and running configure again, make now goes on...

configure might need to stop and report error if neither of those are found
There are at least three reasons to build a package from source:

	1) no binary package for your platform exists;

2) you want to look at the source first, and make sure the binaries are built from that source;
	3) you want to make changes to the source.

In case 1), we want to minimize the number of tools required to build the application, as users in that category might not have a system with the full panoply of tools that *might* be needed to build software. In particular, they might not have Flex or Lex.
Thus, we don't require Flex - the distribution tarball comes with the 
files generated by Flex.  This may inconvenience developers, but at 
least it doesn't inconvenience non-developers.
It may be that binary packages are sufficiently widely available that we 
don't have to worry about this, although there might be some platforms 
for which there's a significant delay between a new Wireshark release 
and the availability of binary packages.
If somebody can suggest a way to have the configure script in the 
release tarballs not fail if neither Flex nor Lex were found (actually, 
we don't support Lex, so we only care about Flex), but have the 
configure script you get if you're building from SVN or an SVN tarball 
fail if Flex isn't found, that would be nice - I'm not sure there is a 
good one, however.