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automake and intermediate files generated by yacc, lex, valac


there are several tools that generate C source code that is later
complied in object code, e.g. yacc, lex or valac.  automake defaults to
distribute these built intermediate files, so they are usually not
regenerated during a build.

This causes several problems:

1. The intermediate files might be generated by out-dated versions of
the tools, thus not benefiting from bug fixes in the tools.  This seems
similar to the problem of including copies of libraries.

2. When patching the real source, it might be required to update
build-dependencies etc. to get the package to build again.  This makes
stable updates more complicated.

3. The software is not build from the "real" source, but from
intermediate files.  For me, this is similar to shipping pre-compiled
binaries (not the same, but similar at least).

So I would like to know

1. What is Debian's policy about this,

2. How to stop automake from including intermediate files,

3. How to make sure the intermediate files are regenerated during the
build.  Is there a nicer way than removing them?


Note: I did send this mail to debian-mentors@l.d.o [1] some time ago,
but did not get any reply.  Also I think the topic might be of interest
to others as well.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-mentors/2009/12/msg00288.html

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