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Re: RFH: bashisms in configure script

On Tue, 25 May 2010 16:13:36 -0500
Raphael Geissert <geissert@debian.org> wrote:

> dash recently added support for the magic variable $LINENO, which was the last 
> piece to make it POSIX compliant. However, this change made the autoconf-
> generated configure scripts use dash to execute the script's code. Without 
> support for LINENO, configure scripts exec to bash automatically.

Can't we just patch this OUT of dash until after the release??? (or
forever? or just on buildd's?)

All this work for ONE VARIABLE???!?!?!

> An archive-wide check of the source packages gives an estimate of over 3425 
> source packages with bashisms in *any file*. This doesn't necessarily mean that 
> we are drowned by bashisms, as some of those may already be fixed by Debian-
> provided packages or might affect unused code (either at the build process or 
> code not included in the final binary package.)

This is just scare mongering - there are packages there which have
nothing to do with autoconf or have any configure script of any kind,
even the simplest perl script packages!

> A rough estimate of the number of source packages with bashisms in configure 
> scripts (false positives included and not necessarily autoconf's configure 
> script) is 1504.

Which, at a rough estimate, would take at least a year to fix, not
including all the transitions that would result.

./configure is a *generated* script too, if dash cannot handle it, dash
has to be crippled to let the other packages continue working. Unless
autoconf itself has already been patched to fix all of these issues when
regenerating ./configure from configure.ac, all this would be a waste
of effort anyway.

This sounds more like a grave bug in dash by breaking everything else.
I can't believe this can happen. It's plain crazy.

> Please encourage others to work on these issues.

Please fix dash instead.
> Normally I would process the results and file the bug reports myself but I 
> don't have and won't have time to do it any time soon. I've already tried to 
> find some time yesterday and today to work on checkbashisms to come up with bug 
> fixes[4], and am probably  going to find a bit more to only fast-process the 
> results of a new run against the binary packages.
> Thanks in advance!

... for nothing. I'm in no mood to thank anyone for this one.
> (before anybody asks/complains, the list of maintainers is too big to be 
> attached to the email, even if compressed.)

Which is reason enough to fix dash, not thousands of other packages
which were fine until this change.

One package (one variable) cannot be allowed to break over a THOUSAND
source packages. 

Has someone put the clock back to 1st April? This just has to be a sick

Someone please tell me this broken version of dash hasn't been uploaded


Neil Williams

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