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Re: Suggested packaging guideline: avoid running autoreconf

On Sun, 2008-10-12 at 10:30 +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le dimanche 12 octobre 2008 à 00:34 -0400, Braden McDaniel a écrit :
> > On Sun, 2008-10-12 at 02:25 +0000, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> > > > > So how are the autotools different from GCC and Binutils?
> > > > 
> > > > Source packages produced by an autotools build are designed to be
> > > > buildable in the absence of the autotools themselves.  They are not
> > > > designed to be buildable without a compiler and POSIX environment.
> > > 
> > > That distinction is artificial, you're defining "building" to include the 
> > > compilation step for the code, but not the one for the build system.
> > 
> > I'm defining "building" to include whatever steps are *necessary* to
> > generate an RPM.  Rebuilding the build system scripts is not necessary
> > and can, in general, be avoided.  Avoiding this step is desirable
> > because undertaking it causes well-documented problems.
> So if Oracle was freely redistributable tomorrow an rpm that just put
> the pre-generated Oracle files in the right place would be ok with you?

Getting to this question from what I said requires so many logical leaps
that it's not worth entertaining.

> Fedora is about free software and that means the ability to rebuild
> everything from the ground up even when upstream disagrees or when it's
> inconvenient to do so. When all is said you can never be 100% sure this
> ability is retained unless you perform the full rebuild steps in the
> spec file yourself.

Are you claiming that by creating tarballs that are designed to be used
without having the autotools installed, the GNU build system is
impairing free software?

"Ground" level is the upstream source provided by the developer.
Applying necessary patches to the build scripts in order to build
binaries does not make anything less free.

If a packager wants to include changes to the build script sources in
the source RPM, I have absolutely no objection to that.  But applying
those changes as part of the build wins nothing and invites breakage.

Braden McDaniel                           e-mail: <braden endoframe com>
<http://endoframe.com>                    Jabber: <braden jabber org>

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