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Re: Building Debian Completely From Source

On 20031206T145904-0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> Obviously gcc is the #1 example of this.  However, gcc packages should
> not need to depend on themselves; in our distribution, we tend to have
> many different versions of gcc available, and any of them should be able
> to build a newer gcc.

Nevertheless, *some* gcc version must build-depend either on itself or
on some gcc version that directly or indirectly build-depends on that
version.  Thus, multiple gcc versions do not fix the circular
build-depends problem.

> Nothing else in main comes to mind right now, though I'm sure there is
> something else...

Any self-hosting compiler.  We have several.  GHC is an example.

> But for everything but the C compiler, I think that the build probably
> should do the bootstrapping work itself wherever possible.

Bootstrapping on every build is not a good idea.  For most builds, it's
wasted work, since most builds will have a previous version available.
Furthermore, any bootstrapping build requires either a bootstrapping
compiler (and most languages do not have that in Debian) or distributing
a precompiled intermediate form (either C or assembly) that can be
further processed at build time to yield a bootstrapping compiler (which
IMHO is cheating - it's about as nice as distributing a bootstrapping
compiler executable in the source package).

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Debian developer   http://www.iki.fi/gaia/

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