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Automake & dependency tracking


Recent versions of automake add an option --disable-dependency-tracking
to the generated configure script. If you don't use that option, the
generated Makefile will wrap all calls to the compiler in a call to
'depcomp', which will generate a Makefile snippet in a .deps directory
to better track dependencies. This would include dependencies in the to
be built package, but also dependencies outside that package, e.g.,
system headers.

While I can understand the value of this for an upstream developer, I
would wonder whether this is of any value for Debian packages. Debian
packages typically do not profit from this kind of optimization; after
all, a call to 'dpkg-buildpackage' will start off by running a 'make
clean', which means that all source files are (unconditionally) rebuilt

Is there any other reason why we would still need to use automake's
dependency tracking anyway?

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

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