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Re: Fedora 12 Features Proposed for Removal

On 08/10/2009 05:17 PM, Bill McGonigle wrote:
On 08/07/2009 02:54 AM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
Pointing it out on a review and restoring to calling the
packages bad quality if people don't follow your controversial
recommendation isn't going to scale at all.

This is a good perspective, Ralf.  Putting the same energy into
individual reviews won't have as amplified an impact as convincing the
packaging committee of problems.
I am member of the FPC, but ... I have failed to convince the FPC
so far.

I understand the theoretical value of a deterministic package build -
I'm not aware of specific examples of where non-determinism has caused
problems in Fedora, though I can imagine some.
They are very easy to demonstrate. Commonly known cases are building gcc, binutils, gdb, firefox etc.

Other cases are pretty easy to find. Actually, probably almost any non-trivial, complex package has such issues.

It's only the fact that most packages are trivial autotool-wise and the fact that autotools-changes often are subtile, which lets people who are not intimate with the autotools (erroroniously) believe it's safe to run autotools during builts.

Gathering evidence of
breakage may cause a change of opinion.  Having a practical alternative
is probably required as well.

The practical alternative is very simple: Run the autotools on the system you are testing on, create diffs from them and to apply them during builds.

I am applying this approach to several of my Fedora packages (some of which I know to suffer from such issues, e.g. Coin2), fixed some packages (owned by others) this way, which had failed during the F11-mass-rebuild, exactly because of such issues.


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