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Re: RFC: ./configure or ./config.status --clean

From: Earnie Boyd
Subject: Re: RFC: ./configure or ./config.status --clean
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2002 07:36:33 -0500

Paul Eggert wrote:
> > Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2002 22:41:50 -0800
> > From: Dan Kegel <address@hidden>
> >
> > Clearly, one would also want cp --clean.
> "rm --clean" would be far more useful.  I've often wanted that,
> usually right after I've removed the wrong thing.
> (Sorry, Akim, couldn't resist....)

But, seriously, one could accomplish this with the currently fictions
tools `dirsnap' and `dirrestore'.  Dirsnap would snapshot a project
directory and dirrestore would return the directory to it's original
state.  Dirsnap could simply be `tar -cf /tmp/foo.tar' and dirrestore
could simply be `rm -rf *; tar -xf /tmp/foo.tar'.  If you didn't want
that, then dirsnap could simply be a saved `ls -R' listing and
dirrestore could be an awk script that parses the listing and removes
anything that doesn't exist in the list.

My point is, there are a number of ways to accomplish the desired
result.  However, --clean for all tools isn't the correct way to go
about it.  The only tools needing to know how to clean a project
directory are config.status, configure and make.  Anyone building
projects in the source directory should be convinced to do otherwise. 
It should be a requirement of configure to refuse to execute in it's
parent directory or any directory that isn't empty, without at least a
warning should be issued and a confirmation.  Exceptions to that could
be if files created by configure already exists in the directory.

Sorry, I seem to be rambling.  But I hope I've made some valid


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