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Re: Long-term mass bug filing for crossbuild support

On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 13:08:30 -0500
Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 06, 2007 at 01:04:48PM +0000, Neil Williams wrote:
> > Emdebian has currently built 91 Debian source packages in the
> > preparation of the basic root filesystem and other testing of the
> > toolset. All of those have involved some level of patches to support
> > cross-building with CDBS packages needing the least.
> Which is FUD, insomuch as CDBS only handles cross-building for packages that
> use GNU autoconf and many cross-building fixes require patching upstream
> code.

So far, I've only come across a handful of packages that need upstream
patches for cross-building but then I've only built a minimal set of
packages. Sorry if my preference for CDBS comes across negatively. I
just wanted to point out that some packages need less work than others
and to give some hint about why the build system affects which
packages are going to get bug reports.

> > This thread will discuss the type of changes that are needed, which
> > packages are affected and how these bugs will be identified.
> If you want that to be what the thread is about, kindly don't lead into it
> with trolling about CDBS.

OK. Let's leave the build system issue behind.
> > I would recommend every maintainer of a compiled package to consider
> > adding this basic level of cross-building support if it does not exist
> > already.
> I agree.  If nothing else, this is relevant because packages which use
> autoconf may otherwise mis-optimize for targets other than the default
> target for each of our given architectures when not explicitly told the
> system type using the dpkg-architecture information.

There are other reasons why packages may get a bug report for
crossbuild support, the DEB_*_GNU_TYPE is just a common one.

> > Note that CDBS is inherently *easier* to crossbuild than any other
> > build system in Debian. Only one change is necessary:
> Note that this is an inherently *non-obvious* change to have to make to
> support cross-building, which is why the opacity of CDBS makes it an
> incredibly sucky system if you want maintainers who are actually able to
> reason about what their packages are doing.

It wasn't obvious, true.


Neil Williams

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