The Abstract Truth

Back to Basics

Posted by rbpasker on January 5, 2008

I’m testing an unreleased web service which requires mod_python. Because mod_python comes as source, I had to build it for OS X 10.5.

Of course, configure failed miserably with the brilliant:

checking for C compiler default output file name... configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables

Searching the web for how to fix configure problems, I found a suggestion to compile something simple, to see if gcc is installed correctly:

% cat test.c
#include <studio.h>

int main (int argc, char* argv[]) {
printf("hello world\n");
return 0;
% gcc test.c

This also failed.

I figured that since I hadn’t done any development on this machine since 2004 or so, it was time to reinstall Apple’s Xcode.

Once I reinstalled Xcode, test.c compiled perfectly, and configure ran without a hitch.

After 30+ years of programming, the same techniques still work: get the simplest possible thing to break, then fix that.

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