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Re: afraid to build from source?

Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org> writes:

> [Goswin von Brederlow]
>> The big problem is that those autogenerated build scripts will be non
>> deterministic on the buildd network and on users system. Depending on
>> the installed packages (automake/autoconf versions) you get different
>> results and often failures. :(
> What low expectations we have.  Why are we willing to tolerate this in
> autotools?  We wouldn't tolerate it in other development tools like
> make.  Reliable ability to build things seems to be a fairly basic
> property of a build tool.

Even make breaks from time to time. I distinctly remeber an update of
make that caused problems. There are also several gcc versions that
are quite different in their behaviour.

But unlike automake/autoconf we only have one version of make in the
archive and everything is fixed to work with it. We also only have one
gcc-x.y that is the default gcc with only a few exceptions and again
everything is fixed to work with that.

Somehow with automake/autoconf there have always been multiple
versions in the archive and nobody cared much for updating every
source package to the latest automake/autoconf. It probably is due to
the fact that you can change the source and build it without altering
the configure.in/Makefile.am/Makefile.in files in most cases.


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