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Re: an update to automake-1.11?



On 07/06/2009 02:53 PM, Sam Varshavchik wrote:
> Adam Jackson writes:
> 
>> On Sun, 2009-07-05 at 18:50 -0400, Sam Varshavchik wrote:
>>> Richard W.M. Jones writes:
>>> > On Sun, Jul 05, 2009 at 10:45:46AM -0400, Sam Varshavchik wrote:
>>> >> What line number changes? You cut a patch against configure, and
>>> you're  >> done. That's it.
>>> > > And you get a big patch containing line numbers.  Here's a single
>>> line
>>> > change to configure.ac, and the corresponding patch that generates:
>>>   ======================
>>>
>>> Who said anything about patching configure.ac? The cited link is not
>>> a patch to the configure script, it's a result of a patch to
>>> configure.ac.
>>>
>>> I'll repeat again: patch configure, not configure.ac.
>>>
>>> I said "patch configure", and you reply, "well, it won't work because
>>> if you patch configure.ac, run autoconf, then generate the patch
>>> between the original configure, and the new configure, I get a big
>>> hairball". Duh.
>>
>> The fundamental problem with patching configure instead of configure.ac
>> (or Makefile instead of Makefile.am) is that it's changing the wrong
>> semantic level.
> 
> As was discussed previously in this thread, when creating packages the
> objective is not to patch the correct semantic level.

Actually, in Fedora, it is.  We work closely with upstream.  If you
patch the correct semantic level, you can send the patch back to
upstream for incorporation.  If you only patch the configure script you
aren't helping upstream to improve their code.

Also, patching the configure script, while easier fixing the things the
majority of times that you've had to fix the build scripts is just
anecdotal.  My own anecdotes are skewed in the other direction -- I
can't recall one time that I've needed to patch the configure.ac script
where it would have been easier to patch the configure script directly
instead.  Introducing side-effects is something to watch out for but
patching configure instead of the true source is a short term fix, not a
long term solution.

-Toshio

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