dependencies for autoconf
In bug #262021, Norman Ramsey reported that the "autoreconf"
script provided by the autoconf package runs automake. Since
at the time autoconf merely recommended automaken, instead of
depending on it, this could fail.
To fix the bug, I changed the recommendation to a dependency.
In response, Ralf Wildenhues <Ralf.Wildenhues@gmx.de> pointed
> Are you going to depend on (some version of) libtool and gettext, too?
> autoreconf may invoke libtoolize and autopoint as well.
> FWIW, I don't think this is the right way to go. If autoreconf invokes
> aclocal or automake, that means the package being autoreconf'ed depends
> on automake, not autoconf.
I am torn between the two possibilities. On one hand, Debian
policy is clear that packages should have full dependencies on
all the programs that they may invoke. On the other hand, Ralf
has a reasonable argument that it is the package being
autoreconf'd that has the dependency, not autoconf itself. Many
packages that use autoconf do not use libtool or gettext.
Another issue is that there are multiple versions of automake in
the archive. The dependency that I added to autoconf allows any
one of them to satisfy the dependency, but of course this is no
guarantee that this is the correct version for the package being
I would appreciate some guidance on this issue from debian-devel.