[Rpm-maint] [draft] spec file unification: autotools based projects

Ralf Corsepius rc040203 at freenet.de
Thu Jul 17 17:45:26 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-07-17 at 13:11 -0400, Bill Nottingham wrote:
> Hans de Goede (j.w.r.degoede at hhs.nl) said: 
> > I agree, blindly calling autoreconf is BAD really really BAD (take it 
> > from someone who maintanis 200 packages). Often the autoreconf input 
> > files were written for different versions of autofoo then are available 
> > in the buildsys, also as Ralf says this goes against the design 
> > principles of autofoo. I've often taken over packages from other people, 
> > and removed calling autoreconf and instead patch both the .am and .in 
> > manually (so that if autoreconf ever gets called again the patch sticks 
> > around), fixing many bugs that way.
> I agree as well - I'm not saying you *can't* call autoreconf if
> you want to/need to
Right, ... 

>  and have tested it,
... when you've done this, it's close to trivial to package the results 
into patches.

>  but it should *not* be policy to do so.
The better approach is to have upstreams fix their bugs, but ...
experience tells, it's often exactly those packages which have problems
with autoreconf rsp. modern autotools which have general upstream
problems with usage of the autotools [1].


[1] often for technical reasons (most complex packages requires
particular versions of the autotools),  sometimes for lack of
understanding the autotools, sometimes for reason for
"backward-compatibility" to outdated and unmaintained obsolete versions
of the autotools. 

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