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Re: an update to automake-1.11?


On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 02:05:57PM -0400, Owen Taylor wrote:
> In general automake hasn't had a very good track record of compatibility
> between 1.x and 1.y, though this has been getting better recently.

Yeah, there were some serious problems with the redisign in 2001.

Recently = since 1.8, at least.  So we are observing more than  5 years of
good track.

> But is this the type of upgrade that makes sense in general? It seems to
> me that we should be very conservative in upgrading build tools,
> especially in "maintenance mode" distributions like F9 and F10.

Well, in a sense, Automake is not a build tool, it's more a
maintainer tool.  In the typical case, it is run interactively by
the maintainer of a package to create the tarball.

Yes, there are many cases where automake is run from the spec file
and these are in danger.  If there were a backward compatibility bug,
these may not rebuild.  But, AFAIK, this is not anything that would
prevent people from using Fedora.

OTOH, people might want to use Fedora for software development.  And
building new versions of software packages might require new features
or rely on Automake bugs being fixed.

IOW, what's Fedora good for after its EOL?  If it is a museum
artifact, then I'm spoiling the game.  If it is to be used in real
life, then update to Automake 1.11 is beneficial for the developers
using it and harmless for the non-developer uses (office, proxy,

> But it is also a pretty long release announcement so it wouldn't
> surprise me if there were some subtle incompatibilities.

The Automake maintainer is very careful.  So it would not surprise me
if the amount of incompatibilities would be surprisingly small.

> The only breakage I'm actually aware of in the gnome-common package;

Yeah, that is a very clumsy package.

> gnome-common-2.26 and earlier doesn't know that automake-1.11 is 
> a valid replacement when automake-1.10 is asked for.

Consider telling it that 1.12 is going to be a valid replacement for
both of these as well.


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