Best practice for cleaning autotools-generated files?
The current best practice for dealing with packages using GNU autotools
(as described in /usr/share/doc/autotools-dev/README.Debian.gz) is to
run autoreconf in a prerequisite of a build target, and to remove its
results in the clean target.
However that README does not give any hints on how to best do the
cleaning. How are others doing it?
I could think of the following ways:
* maintain a blacklist of generated files, and "rm" them in the
This has the downside that as soon as any of:
decides to introduce a new autogenerated file, my package is going to
collect cruft on a sourceful rebuild (e.g. NMUs). And because of the
time skew problems, it is cruft which can potentially break the build
in subtle ways.
Looking (for example) at the amazing list of files that autopoint
copies into the po/ subdirectory, I have very little faith that
something new won't appear in the future.
The only way this would be acceptable was if there was a way to make
dpkg-build abort if added files are found outside the debian
directory. That would cause the person building the package to add
any new files to the blacklist. OTOH the security team probably
wouldn't like it?
* maintain a whitelist of distributed files, and "rm" everything
else (apart from the debian directory) in the clean target.
Since I use (or plan to use) git-buildpackage, I don't have a tarball
which could serve as an authoritative whitelist. Thus an additional
whitelist refresh step would be required every time I merge the
upstream branch into the debian branch. That's bad. Furthermore, a
whitelist approach would mercilessly elliminate all files on a
"clean", so one would have to be really careful not to leave
unchecked but precious files in the source tree at any time... :-/
* for every autoool, maintain an anti-autotool that would know how to
revert the actions of its counterpart. Basically just like
automake-generated files encode the knowledge of how to "make clean"
after a "make all", there would need to be a "-clean" counterpart for
every autotool that autoreconf can call.
However this would need to be a team effort, as such cleanup tools
would need to closely follow their "generator" counterparts.
Are there other ways? Comments?
Marcin Owsiany <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://marcin.owsiany.pl/
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