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Re: Ok to use upstream doumentation as-is (i.e. not regenerate)?

On 11-06-04 at 11:29am, Russ Allbery wrote:
> "Bernhard R. Link" <brlink@debian.org> writes:
> > * Benjamin Drung <bdrung@debian.org> [110604 14:22]:
> >> It's better to build the pre-generated files from source in case 
> >> you need to modify the source. It's easier to just modify for 
> >> example configure.ac instead of modifying it and figuring out how 
> >> to rebuild the pre-generated files, especially when you do security 
> >> fixes or stable release updates.
> > Changing configure.ac does not really sound like a very minimal 
> > change to me.
> It often is, though.  For example, I've modified several configure.ac 
> files to just add a pattern for GNU Hurd to the pattern for Linux that 
> controls some behavior that also works on the Hurd.  It's about a 
> seven character change.
> I still use the upstream's generated files most of the time because 
> it's less complex.  But I'm increasingly liking the idea of packaging 
> an upstream release tag from a Git repository instead, at which point 
> it's nice and clean to run the autotools during the build.  The only 
> thing that I still don't like about that is that it means the Debian 
> packaging is based on a generated tarball that doesn't have any direct 
> relationship with the tarball that upstream distributes.

Interesting.  I used to avoid that approach without reflecting much on 
why - just doing because early on in my life of Debian Maintainer I was 
taught "it is bad to override upstream-provided autotools".  But you are 
right - it makes good sense to do sometimes.

What I do is use upstream provided tarballs, then put aside 
autotools-generated files, then autogenerate myself, and in the clean 
rule put back the upstream-provided files (because I want not only 
minimal required build routines idempotent but also building with 

Putting aside and restoring is doable in only a few careful lines in the 
rules file.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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