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Re: Results of the meeting in Helsinki about the Vancouver proposal

> * Many packages don't support cross-compiling, and those that do may
>   have bugs in their makefiles that make cross-compiling either harder
>   or impossible.
> * You can't run the test suites of the software you're compiling, at
>   least not directly.
> * There's a serious problem with automatically installing
>   build-dependencies. Dpkg-cross may help here, but there's no
>   apt-cross (at least not TTBOMK); and implementing that may or may not
>   be hard (due to the fact that build-dependencies do not contain
>   information about whether a package is an arch:all package or not).

scratchbox solves these problems.

> * By using a cross-compiler, by definition you use a compiler that is
>   not the same as the default compiler for your architecture. As such,
>   your architecture is no longer self-hosting. This may introduce bugs
>   when people do try to build software for your architecture natively
>   and find that there are slight and subtle incompatibilities.

I have never seen nor heared about such a case. IME this is extremely 
rare (if it happens at all). The only way to know if this is a real
problem is to try using cross compiling and verify against existing
native compiled binaries. Unfortunately the verify bit is quite annoying
as a simple cmp will likely fail because of things like build date,
build number, etc included in the binary. For packages which have a testsuite, 
this testsuite could be used as the verification step. 

> Hence the point of trying out distcc in the post to d-d-a; that will fix
> the first three points here, but not the last one. But it may not be
> worth the effort; distcc runs cc1 and as on a remote host, but cpp and
> ld are still being run on a native machine. Depending on the program
> being compiled, this may take more time than expected.

Which is why scratchbox is a more interesting solution, as it only runs
those parts on target which can't be done on the host.


Peter (p2).

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