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Interactive configure scripts

Hi All,

An interesting thought has struck me today.  I've been working on a
package which has an interactive variant of an autoconf script.  The
standards say to run the configure script before packaging the source,
but if you do that, then the package may not be portable across
architectures easily.  It might check the size of a long, or something
else which is hardware-dependent.

My solution was to put the responses to the interactive part of the
configure script into a file, and have debian/rules run

	./configure < debian/configure-options

This seems to me to hold to the spirit of the standards (there's no
interactive configuration required to build the package from source),
without hard-coding any hardware dependencies that may bite on a m68k
or alpha.  It does of course depend on the configure script only
asking for system-dependent options, or providing adequate defaults,
but I suspect that most interactive configure scripts do that already.

Does anyone have any comments on this approach?  Do the standards need
updating to allow, or even encourage this method of handling
interactive configure scripts?

M a l c . . .            |  "A wrong parameters may be caused the mainboard
(malc@thing.demon.co.uk) |   out of order."  -- Pentium motherboard manual.

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