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Re: RFS aldo - A morse code trainer

On Mon, Sep 12, 2005 at 04:14:57PM +0200, Christoph Berg wrote:
> Re: Bas Wijnen in <20050912125459.GB23935@pcbcn10.phys.rug.nl>
> > > Please provide an updated upstream tarball.
> > > 
> > > This will allow you to drop the build-dependency on the autotools,
> > > which is considered evil by most people anyway.
> > 
> > Huh?  Looking at the output of bootstrap, it runs the autotools.  Or do you
> > mean it should be run before packaging the tarball?
> The upstream tarball on savannah is broken, it should be updated.

Ah, ok.

> > In any case, I strongly disagree that build-depending on autotools is wrong.
> > The autotools were created to make platform-independant building possible on
> > platforms with no special programs (such as the autotools) installed.
> > However, if they _are_ available, then it's a good idea to regenerate all the
> > files, because old versions of the autotools can have bugs (and it makes sure
> > that the source files such as Makefile.am are actually the versions which
> > produced the Makefile).  It's a good idea to use the output from the newest
> > autotools if possible, and on a Debian system that is easily possible, namely
> > by build-depending on them.
> It's a matter of taste. I prefer a bootstrapped tarball, because
> re-bootstraping on the autobuilders can cause all kinds of funny build
> failures that weren't there otherwise.

If you get build-failures from re-running the autotools, the IMO the source is
broken.  Not building that part of the package, but shipping pre-built
(however that was done) files, doesn't sound good to me.  Policy doesn't
dictate that everything (or even anything) must be compiled, but I think the
intention is that things should be compiled from source whenever possible.
Makefile and configure are not source, Makefile.am and configure.ac are.

> (And in most cases it's a waste of build time.)

With that argument we could as well put binaries in the source packages and
just move them to the right place with debian/rules.  I'm sure you agree that
that would not be a good idea. :-)  IMO the fact that upstream put those
precompiled versions in the tarball doesn't change that.  After all, they're
only in the tarball to support "obscure" systems which don't have the means to
compile those sources.  Debian is not an obscure system in that sense, so
there's no need to use the precompiled versions.

> > I agree that real files should be shipped in the tarball.  However, to make
> > sure the diff doesn't get too large, remove such files in the "clean" target
> > (in debian/rules).
> If there are real files in the tarball, they shouldn't be in the
> diff.gz anyway.

If you re-run the autotools, they get overwritten.  It isn't unusual that the
new version of the autotools produces different output, which results in huge
differences between them.  Removing the generated files makes sure they are
ignored for the diff.  And by the way, the fact that the differences are so
large is a strong argument for rerunning the autotools, because the new output
is presumably better than the old.

Bas Wijnen

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