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automake 1.5


Apparently automake is broken in sid, in that most packages are written
for automake 1.4, but automake 1.5 is in sid, and backwards compatibility
isn't considered a feature or a goal for automake. (See #114130, #114481,

Given this, and that some 300 or so packages build-depend on automake
in unstable, we obviously need to do something.

The long term solution, apparently, is for packages to not Build-Depend:
on automake. This means that packages should ship their .orig.tgz/diff.gz
with automake already run, which may require the maintainer to run
automake by hand after downloading new upstream source, rather than just
having it be part of debian/rules. There's some rumours that this isn't
enough, since automake likes to generate Makefiles that call automake
themselves, and that this can be bad. In any event, this isn't an option
in the short term, due to the number of packages that'd need changing,
and that we would actually like to release eventually. So for the
next release, we need to change policy so that it's clear when you should
Build-Depend: on automake, on what you can expect to be able to do if you
do Build-Depend: on automake.

Which leads us to the short term solution. There are 292 packages in
unstable that Build-Depend: on automake, and possibly a few more that
have implicit build time dependencies. There are 12 packages (crimson,
curl, curl-ssl, gmanedit, gnumeric, kvirc, lincvs, marbles, micq, mysql,
xkeysw, xwrits) that have versioned dependencies, and only one of those
(lincvs) that build-depends on automake 1.5.

So, it seems likely that we need automake 1.4 uploaded again. There
are two ways we can do this reasonable, either as automake 1:1.4 (ie,
automake.deb, with an epoch to make sure 1.5 is replaced by the older
version), or as automake1.4. Doing the former will work with the minimum
of fuss, and, presumably, only leave a handful of packages broken. Doing
the latter will require a "Provides: automake" so that the build-depends
are remotely satisfied, but even that won't necessarily be enough to
ensure the autobuilders use automake 1.4 instead of automake 1.5 for
the packages that need it.

I'd be inclined towards adding the epoch, and just reuploading the older
version, and doing this "right" after woody.

Comments? Problems with the above? Other issues?



Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

 ``Freedom itself was attacked this morning by faceless cowards.
     And freedom will be defended.''   Condolences to all involved.

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