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Re: [The good, the bad and] The Ugly -- the cosmetic rant

On Sun, Dec 16, 2001 at 07:52:49PM +0100, Gergely Nagy wrote:
> Quoting from debian/rules:
> ,----
> | configure: configure-stamp
> | configure-stamp:
> | 	dh_testdir
> | 	# Add here commands to configure the package.
> | 	./configure --prefix=/usr
> | 	touch configure-stamp
> `----
> There are two issues here. First, the configure-stamp target is
> unneeded, configure generates config.status, which can be used as a
> stamp file.

What happens if the configure command fails?  config.status will be
there, all right, but the configure target will not have completed
successfully.  So if you use config.status as a stamp file, you'll be

>             Second, the comment above the ./configure line - as added
> by dh_make, I presume - does not bear any value once the template is
> filled out, since you don't have to add anything anymore. Compare this
> with TeX markup in a printed book, it's almost the same thing.

Comments are good.  Compare this to commenting your source code; after
all, once you've written it, you don't need to know what it does any
more, right?  So this comment is a bit redundant -- big deal: it could
help someone one day.

> The same stands for most of the targets too.

And so do my comments.

> Another bad example is this:
> ,----
> | # Build architecture-independent files here.
> | binary-indep: build install
> | # We have nothing to do by default.
> `----

Good example.  I recently changed a package from arch: all to arch:
any and back again, and was very appreciative to have these comments
lying around.  And as a policy maintainer, I do know this stuff well;
nevertheless, having reminders is very good (and even then, I forgot



     Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths,             Debian GNU/Linux Developer
      Queen Mary, Univ. of London         see http://people.debian.org/~jdg/
   http://www.maths.qmul.ac.uk/~jdg/           or http://www.debian.org/
        Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/ to help feed the hungry
                 Also: http://www.helpthehungry.org/

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