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Re: Automake packages

* Joseph Carter (knghtbrd@bluecherry.net) wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 05:46:06PM -0400, Eric Dorland wrote:
> [.. Need for automake 1.5 ..]
> > Well packages still depend on it i believe, so yes.
> I think you have let one too many people who have taken leave of their
> senses get to you with these packages already.  I have yet to see a
> package which ran with 1.5 that does not run with 1.6 (and I've been
> looking for them!)

Well as a mathematics professor I had once said, "Examples do not
constitute a proof". Have you asked the automake developers about
this? No offense, but they would know better then you. 
> I have also taken the liberty of creating symlinks to automake and aclocal
> on my system since you followed the "good advice" of several people on
> this list without making it possible to install both the automake docs
> _and_ an older version of automake.  You probably should fix that before
> uploading the package to main.
> I get to choose being able to RTFM _OR_ being able to compile .... just
> about every package out there.  Not a good choice, please make the
> packages not conflict in this manner.  Especially it would be good if you
> could make both sets of docs installable at the same time.  I'd much
> rather have automake 1.4's docs than automake 1.4, since that will tell me
> what I need to make sure my scripts are compatible backward and
> forward.

I am not happy with this solution either. But the automake upstream
packages it this way, ie their info files are not versioned. I sent a
mail to their mailing list about this issue, but received no
response. I'm always reluctant to really hack up upstream's way of
doing things. My knowledge of info is not incredible, but I believe
doing this sanely is non-trivial.
> The silliness regarding the need to make my own symlinks for automake and
> aclocal, well, I've dealt with that as well as I can here.  I think it's
> positively stupid to not have them, but some people will never be pleased
> unless automake 1.5+ and autoconf 2.50+ die completely.  I have done
> precisely what I intended to all along - as far as any package is
> concerned, I have automake installed.  Any package that breaks with this
> setup is itself broken and in need of patching.  If I find anything that
> breaks this way, I will fix it and file a bug with the patch.  If the bug
> is ignored, I will NMU the package.

Well I always planned to provide alternatives on 'automake', I just
thought it was much more important to get these packages in and sane,
and then add that.

> It's positively ridiculous for Debian to essentially ignore the new
> upstream version of a centrally important package like automake just
> because we're afraid of having a migration in unstable.  I suppose it is
> perhaps luckier that you took the package than I, because I would have
> insisted on the alternatives entry and encouraged people to set it to use
> the 1.6 version to help find packages which might break so they could be
> fixed.  Finding and fixing problems seems to be too much work for some
> though, I suppose - even when others offer to do the bulk of the work
> which actually requires any intelligence at all for them.

I don't think anyone is saying that fixing this would be a bad
thing. They're just wary of a lot of breakage, which I think is
smart. Caution is the better part of valor. 

> If I sound disgusted by this discussion and the attitudes of my fellow
> developers, I most certainly am.  Another real problem conveniently
> ignored because a vocal subset of the project is too timid to dare trying
> to fix it.  Of course I urge other developers to make the same choice I
> have made, use automake 1.6 exclusively, fix the problems this supposedly
> causes (which despite the FUD, appears to be few indeed), and demonstrate
> that Debian can still solve technical problems even when much of the
> project seems to be opposed to doing it.
> If not for the 56k shared modem limitations, I'd probably set up an
> autobuilder specifically for the purpose of fixing this multitude of
> problems which supposedly exist today.  I may have a broadband connection
> again in about a month or so.  If all goes well, I will do so and fix any
> and all problems I find.  By myself if I must.  IMO, a half-assed solution
> is no better than hiding the problem outright, especially if part of that
> "solution" entails pretending the problem doesn't really exist.

Eric Dorland <dorland@lords.com>
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