Looks like MySQL build team should add a test scenario to cover this in the automation. Even if you specify –without-server with the latest 5.1.24; it still builds all most all plugins. This is really bad deal. Forget about mandatory plugins like MyISAM, Heap and Merge; it also builds rest of the plugins unless you skip them using –without-<name> or –without-plugin-<name>. The mandatory check should also be relaxed when one uses –without-server. The configure currently throws an error with you try to skip any mandatory plugins with —without-server too.
When one need clients (directory client) and its libraries (directories like libmysql, libmysql_r and mysys, mystrings, dbug) we do not need to build the whole ‘SQL‘ dir and no need to enter the ‘storage‘ directory at all. I patched the configure script to escape all these cases now including skipping of mandatory plugins; and I can see that everything works as expected after the patch. Even though I could not find a easy way to strip ‘ndbclient’ out of the ‘ndb’ engine. But this will allow me to build on systems with gcc2 where we only need client programs : (