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Re: [libvirt] [PATCH] build: fix incremental autogen.sh when no AUTHORS is present



On 12/03/2012 05:37 PM, Eric Blake wrote:
>> I'm not sure how if it impacts this particular change, but why don't
>> we switch
>> to AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([foreign]) ? Since AUTHORS or ChangeLog are no
>> longer
>> static, it seems we are just causing ourselves pain by trying to work
>> around
>> auto* insisting those files exist.
>>
>> Then again I don't know what benefits non-foreign gives us...
> 
> Interesting idea; reading the automake manual, I see:
> 
> https://www.gnu.org/software/automake/manual/automake.html#Strictness
> 
> foreign
>     Automake will check for only those things that are absolutely required for proper operations. For instance, whereas GNU standards dictate the existence of a NEWS file, it will not be required in this mode. This strictness will also turn off some warnings by default (among them, portability warnings). The name comes from the fact that Automake is intended to be used for GNU programs; these relaxed rules are not the standard mode of operation. 
> 
> then further details here:
> https://www.gnu.org/software/automake/manual/automake.html#Gnits
> 
>     The files INSTALL, NEWS, README, AUTHORS, and ChangeLog, plus one of COPYING.LIB, COPYING.LESSER or COPYING, are required at the topmost directory of the package.
> 
>     If the --add-missing option is given, automake will add a generic version of the INSTALL file as well as the COPYING file containing the text of the current version of the GNU General Public License existing at the time of this Automake release (version 3 as this is written, http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html). However, an existing COPYING file will never be overwritten by automake.
>     The options no-installman and no-installinfo are prohibited. 
> 
> 
> Right now, we are relying on 'automake --add-missing' to generate our INSTALL,
> so switching to 'foreign' would break that.  But it wouldn't be too hard
> to check a static copy of INSTALL into libvirt.git if that's the only thing
> in the way of us using a more relaxed automake mode.
> 

And in fact I think the default INSTALL file is total overkill and daunting
for anyone that doesn't have already have a basic understanding of autotools.
This isn't a libvirt specific problem obviously.

I think INSTALL should really be under 40 lines of texts, so as not to
intimidate, and cover quick install from git, quick install from release
tarball, and probably use of ./run for people that just want to run from the
build directory.

If need be we can keep INSTALL.autotools in git and point to that for more
info, but a URL is probably sufficient.

- Cole


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