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Re: autoreconf vs patching



On Mon, 2005-02-14 at 10:32 +0100, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
Re: including patches for autotools generated files.
> IMO, this is the only feasible approach, for 2 reasons:
> 1. This is how the autotools are assumed to be used.
> 
> Packagers are not supposed to run any of them when building a package.
> If you find you can't avoid running them, something inside of the
> package is broken - Unfortunately there are many broken and mal-designed
> package configurations out there :(
> 
Here here.  I think the problem is that autotools are the means by which
software is made portable but most software developers have only a few
systems types on which to develop... so it's the distro packagers of
their software (us) that end up fixing the autotools scripts to work.

> 2. Running autoreconf is error-prone and can break packages in subtile
> and hard to find ways.
> 
> In probably >> 90% of all cases it will work without too many problems,
> but those cases it doesn't work out often are even hard to recognize.
> (I.e. you only think autoreconf worked, while it actually failed.) 
> 
> When using patches, you very likely recognize these cases and will be
> able to fix them.
> 
Hmm... Here's where we part ways for the time being.  Probably because
I've only worked on those 90% of packages so far :-)  If you have some
redhat/fedora.us bugzilla entries or some examples of how autoreconf
messes up, I'd like to look at them so I can understand how things break
and how patching would make spotting the errors easier.

-Toshio
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