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Re: Packaging a library that requires cross-compiled code

[Ian Jackson]
> There are quite a few automated systems that rebuild Debian packages
> - the buildds, my autopkgtest system, various other testers, and they
> are all situations where the work done to build the cross-compiler is
> not wasted: we repeat that processing precisely so that we know that
> it actually works.

This is exactly the point I've been trying to make for a long time,
about things like autoconf and automake1.x, and why you should
build-depend on them and run them every time.  Because it proves that
we are fully self-hosting, and the main reason _not_ to do it is the
fear that we might _not_ actually be self-hosting.  Which is something
I believe we've promised our users, implicitly if not explicitly.

Clearly, many people in Debian disagree that being self-hosting is
sufficiently worthwhile, but would rather work around hypothetical
autotools incompatibilities by, essentially, running them as
infrequently as they can get away with, and hoping they catch whatever
problems show up, before uploading.  (And with a tool like autoconf,
whose very _essence_ requires that it behave differently on different
systems, this seems unlikely.)

Until Debian as a whole can agree that it is important to be
self-hosting, and to be confident enough in our autotools maintainers
to trust their packages for automated builds, I don't think you should
ask David to build a whole cross compiler.  After all, that's not only
a _lot_ more complex to maintain, but more build-resources-expensive.
Peter Samuelson | org-tld!p12n!peter | http://p12n.org/

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