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Using autoconf in debian source packages

Hi all,

excuse me if this has been brought up before, I didn't find it in my
own debian-devel archive since September.

Now that a lot of upstream packages use GNU autoconf to provide
portability, I see essentially two approaches to take advantage for
debian packages.

- We can use autoconf's cache mechanism to define a standard core
  debian environment in which all packages using autoconf are
  built. Apart from speeding up the sometimes lengthy configure run,
  this helps to avoid inconsistencies among binary packages.

- If we want our source packages to build on non-debian systems, use
  autoconf to make sure the system has been correctly installed
  (cf. Bug #1880 dpkg-1.0.5 doesn't build on non-debian system)

I'm aware of these being only vague ideas; perhaps someone more
aquainted with autoconf than me can comment on it.


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