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Re: debian/rules being or not a makefile

Loïc Minier <lool@dooz.org> writes:
> On Mon, Feb 16, 2009, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Why would we want to sanction that when the same effect can be achieved by
>> using a debian/rules of:

>> #!/usr/bin/make -f
>> %:
>>         dh $@

>> without risking breaking any existing assumptions or software?

>  Which software would be affected?

A variety of things that are probably fixable, but I don't see why we
should go to the effort.  For example, that would confuse Lintian and
require special-casing there (and even more special-casing if someone gets
the bright idea to do that with four other packaging helpers).  As
mentioned, dpkg-source -b can't represent the symlink.  Anything that uses
make -f debian/rules would break; I don't know if anything currently does
that, but per Policy it's currently required to work.

There isn't anything inherently wrong with the idea in the abstract, but
it breaks various guarantees that are currently present in Policy for no
compelling reason that I can see.  That to me makes it exactly the sort of
thing that you're not supposed to do with standards.  Once something is
written into the standard, changes should be judged against whether
there's a compelling reason for change even if no one is aware of anything
specific that the change would break.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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