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Re: Bug#397939: Lintian: outdated-autotools-helper-file

Bas Wijnen <shevek@fmf.nl> writes:

> 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".


> 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 may be less common now, but for many years it was quite common for
upstreams to use very specific versions of autotools, which means that if
Debian had dropped the specific autoconf in question, it wasn't easy to
regenerate the files.  Now, that may be a problem for other reasons since
as you point out it means we don't really have horribly usable source, but
that's the most common practical concern, I think.

Always re-running autoconf and automake would increase the number of
FTBFS's that we'd need to fix.  (Probably for the greater good of free
software, but.)

Also, it's not always easy to figure out which files are generated in
order to remove them, but that's probably programmatically fixable.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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