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Re: Lintian: outdated-autotools-helper-file

On Mon, 11 Feb 2008, Bas Wijnen wrote:
> I suggest to mandate "remove all generated files in the clean target"
> (formulated in a way which includes "generated by upstream", not only
> "generated by the build target), which implies "rebuild everything in
> the build target".
> With the current wording it is allowed to use shipped built files from
> the upstream tarball, as long as the source is present.  It is even
> allowed to ship the build results (uuencoded, for example) in the
> diff.gz and use those.  I suppose we all agree that this is unacceptable
> for normal build results.
> Now reread the previous paragraph while thinking of Makefile.in instead
> of "normal build results".  It is common practice to do exactly that:
> ship and use pre-built versions, or even ship them in the diff.gz (which
> then gets huge).  Makefile.am is only present as source-file, but it
> isn't used at all during the build.  Any changes the user makes will not
> be noticed by the build system.
> I'd like to hear why this exception is so important for people.  Or
> better yet, I'd like to hear that everyone agrees with me, so we can
> make this change and finally to the Right Thing. :-)

It is a good idea if one can use .orig.tar.gz to be the same as the
upstream .tar.gz whenever it is DFSG-free to do so.

One reason is that it becomes easier to verify that the .orig.tar.gz
is the same --- has the same GPG signature, MD5SUM etc.

Another reason (which is the same reason in disguise!) is that it is
easier to see exactly what Debian is changing in the upstream source.

Note that if the upstream's auto-generated files are deleted during
the clean target, then the source *must* be re-packaged to avoid
needless clutter in the .diff.gz which is of a "negative" nature.

So all such source must come with a "get-orig-source" target and a
README.Debian-source which explains the changes made.



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