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Re: Dependencies of -dev packages

On Mon, 24 Oct 2005, Gabor Gombas wrote:
> Who talked about _arch_ autodetection? I think the discussion was about

Sorry, my bad. I thought that mentioning "arch" and "configure" and
"auto-detection" in the same post meant the kind of runtime arch
autodetection buggy debian packages (and non-buggy upstream packages) let
autotools do.  I.e. running config.guess.

That said, it is sort of on-topic anyway.  Can pkg-config be told which arch
to build to?  If it doesn't, it is high time to fix this, and it would fix
the problem of getting .pc files to be installed to the right place, too.

Who cares if that means the pkg-config binary we ship will have to be a
great deal more intelligent than the pkg-config other distros need?  It
would still work, and it wouldn't break cross-distro compatibility, either.

Unless packages ship the pkg-config binary itself.  Even then, the Debian
mode could be dependent on dpkg-architecture existing or somesuch, so people
could still use Debian as upstream developers without hassle.

> Arch _selection_ is an orthogonal problem. And no, just saying
> dpkg-architecture is not enough, because with multiarch,
> dpkg-architecture still has to know which architecture does the user
> want to build for, and that selection must be propagated all way down
> (e.g. by adding the appropriate -m32/-m64 switch to gcc).

That is a system-wide problem, dpkg-* is no exception there.

Debian utilities should ask dpkg-architecture about the running arch,
probably (unless we export all the dpkg-architecture data to the environment
and make that non-optional).  

Debian builds would then have to do whatever is needed to get the tools they
use (autoconf, pkgconfig, etc) to build for the right arch.  And the tools
must be enhanced to allow the Debian build scripts to force which arch they
are working for, if they don't have such features yet (autoconf does, and it
actually works since 2.52 or thereabouts).

> So you call the existence of autotools a bug? I welcome you to write a
> moderately complex application that builds both on Linux and AIX without
> any autodetection and without requiring the user to specify a plethora
> of options...

Go read the autotools-dev README.  Take the time to notice who is the
autotools-dev maintainer since day one, and who wrote that README.  That
WILL answer your question about my position re. autotools, AND about my
position about autodetection of stuff, AND also about arch autodetection
(which are two different things).  If it doesn't, let me know.

To make things more clear: autodetection of libraries was not what I was
complaining about. It was about runtime arch autodetection as done by
autoconf and the like in package builds, which AFAIK is against Debian

THAT said, package maintainers better know exactly how to make sure no
feature autodetection by autoconf will get them with their pants down.  
It should only happen because they wanted it to, not because they lacked
build-deps or build-conflicts.  But THIS is a topic for another thread.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

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