[Michael Poole] > On top of the default automake behavior being horribly broken, does > that make usual revision control practices horribly broken? It really bothers me to hear people claim as a best practice that you should never recompile configure.ac or Makefile.am except under controlled conditions. To me it is a very important philosophical point that Debian be self-hosting. That means packages should build without error from source, not just from intermediate text files like 'y.tab.c', 'configure', or 'Makefile.in' which, while arch-independent, are not particularly human-editable, and certainly not source code in the GPL sense. Using a provided 'configure' binary instead of building from source has the same problem as using any other provided binary rather than building from source. It clearly expresses a lack of confidence that the system _is_ in fact self-hosting. It tells our users, "we will give you all the source code, but you'd better not modify that one configure.in source file, because we do not dare trust our tools to build it correctly." So yeah, I advocate always building packages from source, and if autoconf someday comes up with an incompatibility that causes a FTBFS somewhere, let that be reported and fixed. Not just worked around by trying to avoid running autoconf.
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