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Re: the 'build' debian/rules target

On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 01:40:34AM -0400, Colin Walters wrote:
> I don't quite understand the point of having the 'build' target be
> mandatory.

dpkg-buildpackage requires it. You'd have to make it fail gracefully if
the build target wasn't there, and probably get this into a stable
release in order not to royally confuse users trying to build packages
on stable.

I'm not convinced this is a good idea, though; AIUI there are still
architectures that have trouble with fakeroot (at least there are still
build daemons that use sudo to gain root).

Also, I find 'debian/rules build' a useful finger macro for when I just
want to debug something small in a package and don't want to build the
actual binary package (perhaps I'm on a system where I don't have root
access to install the package anyway). I would be very disappointed if
this no longer worked consistently.

> My problem with it is precisely what policy says:
> > For some packages, notably ones where the same source tree is
> > compiled in different ways to produce two binary packages, the
> > `build' target does not make much sense.  

This confuses me. The build target makes perfect sense here; it just
builds two temporary trees. With appropriate use of VPATH in the build
system this is quite easy.

> The reason I bring this up is I am designing a new Debian build system,
> and it's hard for me to know what to do with it exactly.

Please include the build target. It's useful for users as well.

Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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