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Re: Automake & dependency tracking

* Wouter Verhelst (wouter@grep.be) wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> anyway.

Well that's true if invoked from dpkg-buildpackage, it's not
necessarily true in general. A developer working on a package might
not do a complete clean rebuild, so it could have adverse effects. But
if we could detect dpkg-buildpackage was the runner, then disabling
dependency tracking would provide a little speed boost. 
> Is there any other reason why we would still need to use automake's
> dependency tracking anyway?

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
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