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Re: Circular Build-Depends; am I their only enemy?

On Fri, Oct 31, 2003 at 08:53:26PM -0500, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> Am I the only people who things that, ideally, one could build Debian 
> from source, starting with only Essential and Build-Essential packages?

Nope. There is at least one other out here who hates them with a passion.
Ever tried cross-building to a NetBSD platform with a non-NetBSD-standard
(Debian, in fact) target, from an Debian i386 box? No? There might just be
a reason for that...

> The current fun is cdbs. Which Build-Depends on springgraph. Which 
> depends on libgd-gd2-*-perl, which Build-Depends on cdbs. Slight 
> problem here....
> Yes, I know about README.Build in cdbs. Thanks, Colin! Perhaps a 
> Build-Recommends field could be added, which would be treated just like 
> a Build-Depends by the autobuilders, but would at least provide a 
> standardized way to clue people in that that package will build fine 
> without those (but at the possible loss of documentation, etc.)
> Loops would be allowed in the Recommends line, but not the Depends 
> lines. That way, loops can be intelligently and automatically broken 
> --- probably followed by rebuilding the packages that didn't have the 
> Recommends satisfied the first time around.

I like this solution. In fact, I like it a lot. (Of course, I also like
the concept that Debian main in stable and testing should be closed sets,
in terms of build-dependancies). I'd love to see a Build-Recommends for,
say, texinfo or emacs (yes, we have things that Build-Depend on emacs...)
if all they're being used for is documentation that *should* be there in an
official package going to ftp-master, but which isn't crucial to skip if
you're, say, building it solely to be able to build emacs...

(And before anyone says it - some of these are Arch: all, but many aren't;
and build-essential on a non-linux port bootstrap normally comes from the
equivalent of 'cp -a /bin/* /debian-chroot/bin/' (plus stuff like GNU make
and GCC).


Wasn't it possible, in the past, to bootstrap GCC without a working
C compiler? (I have vague memories of a truly insane shell script
manipulating assembly... or maybe just hand-written assembly bootstrap
utilities for each port).
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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