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Re: Bug#397939: Lintian: outdated-autotools-helper-file

Bas Wijnen <wijnen@debian.org> writes:
> On Mon, Feb 11, 2008 at 09:21:29AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Always re-running autoconf and automake would increase the number of
>> FTBFS's that we'd need to fix.

> Not really.

No, really, I promise it will.  :)  Each time we upgrade autoconf, it will
break a bunch of packages that were doing things that weren't supported.

Now, those really were bugs and should be fixed.  But turning them into
FTBFS bugs does escalate the severity quite a bit.

> It would lead to many bugs that packages aren't following policy.
> Especially if we start with should and later (possibly) upgrade it to
> must, I think it is workable.  In particular because these bugs don't
> actually stop a package from being built.  I would be very happy with
> consensus that the autotools _should_ be run during build.  The
> implementation of actually doing it in all packages may take a while, I
> don't have a problem with that.

Well, I don't do it for mine right now because it takes a long time and
feels kind of pointless, but I'm happy to go along with any consensus.
But that part isn't so much the concern.

> Yes, IMO it's one of those situations where Debian should do what's
> Right, not what's Easy (similar to what I wrote about the /bin/sh
> bash->dash move on -policy today).

I am generally in favor of that, but I also don't have the free time to
volunteer for the release team, who ends up bearing the brunt of us doing
the right thing in this area, so, y'know, easy for me to say.  :)

> That's in principle a problem for the maintainer to solve, and
> secundarily for lintian.

Well, yeah, but it would still be nice to provide some help.

> At this moment however, I don't think there is consensus yet that it is
> always better to remove all generated files, including
> autotools-generated stuff, in the clean target.  After that happens, we
> can think about how to implement it in the archive.  Slowly, I would
> suggest. :-) Because it is a good thing if we do this Right, but we
> shouldn't break half the archive for it. ;-)

Yup.  :)

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

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