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Re: Architecture independent binaries and building from source

just to add my $0.02,

On Tue, Aug 10, 2004 at 08:58:37AM -0700, Shaun Jackman wrote:
> debsums does not exist on non-Debian systems. md5sum can quickly and
> easily show that my BSD system and my Debian system are running the
> same version of a Java library if both are distributed with upstream's
> architecture independent binary.

i don't think that qualifies as a good reason.  as the package
maintainer, part of your responsibilities is to ensure that
the program is correctly versioned and builds apropriately.  as
a user, when i want to verify a program's version, i don't md5sum it
with what i downloaded from upstream's website.  i dpkg -l foo, or
maybe even program --version.

> As a rule, we don't regenerate all files from source. We don't
> generally, for example, regenerate configure (using autoconf) from

first, the configure script is not a binary file, the bytecode you
discuss is.  second, while it can be generated from the configure.ac,
it's questionable whether or not the configure.ac is the
"preferred form" for modification.  

> configure.ac even though it is possible. No one can sensibly suggest
> that a shell script of twenty thousand lines is in source form. I

i've yet to see a configure script that's 20000 lines long, though there
do exist shell scripts of comparable length that are in their "source"
form.  here's a few i happen to have laying in /usr/bin on my machines:

   2058 texconfig
   2327 abcde
   4419 groffer

On Tue, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:13:56AM -0700, Shaun Jackman wrote:
> The text is clear that both the source code and the binary are
> required. I have included both in the package.

but there's no guarantee that the source code can successfully build
the binaries included if it wasn't used to build the binaries included
in the first place.

> I certainly agree that debian/rules must rebuild the binary packages
> from the sources packages (FTBFS is definitely a bug). However, I
> don't agree that all files must be indiscriminately rebuilt from their
> base source. This is not current practice in any case. We do not, for
> example, generally rebuild configure from configure.ac.

can you give an example where we do this for a *binary* file?  i don't
see the same correlation that you do.  there are cases where we do
ship arch-indep binary files (.ogg sounds, for example), but i see
this as a far different situation since it's quite clear that your
bytecode was clearly generated from a preferred form of sourcecode at
one point.

i can certainly name a good number of cases where this does seem to
be a precedent, like with scheme and python modules.



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