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Re: Clarify rationale for ‘debian/rules’ shebang line

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:
> >         I think it would be a good idea to _add_ to policy a rule that
> >  says that  "make -f debian/rules" and "./debian/rules" must behave
> >  identically, to prevent confusion, and to promote reproducibility, and
> >   conform to the principle of least surprise.
> Rather than a new rule, I submit this patch to clarify the existing rule
> for the shebang line.

I was sloppy in my use of normative language; this is a “must” directive.

=== modified file 'policy.sgml'
--- policy.sgml 2009-10-21 20:49:37 +0000
+++ policy.sgml 2009-10-31 01:10:42 +0000
@@ -1725,7 +1725,10 @@
          It must start with the line <tt>#!/usr/bin/make -f</tt>,
          so that it can be invoked by saying its name rather than
-         invoking <prgn>make</prgn> explicitly.
+         invoking <prgn>make</prgn> explicitly. That is, invoking
+         either of <tt>make -f debian/rules <em>args...</em></tt>
+         or <tt>./debian/rules <em>args...</em></tt> must cause
+         identical behaviour in each case.

 \             “We can't depend for the long run on distinguishing one |
  `\         bitstream from another in order to figure out which rules |
_o__)               apply.” —Eben Moglen, _Anarchism Triumphant_, 1999 |
Ben Finney

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