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Re: AutoGen-5.6.2 w/o libxml2 build problem

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: AutoGen-5.6.2 w/o libxml2 build problem
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 17:28:49 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 22 Jun 2004, Alexandre Duret-Lutz wrote:

Hi Bruce!

"Bruce" == Bruce Korb <address@hidden> writes:

Bruce> When you invoke, "make dist" I believe you are claiming
Bruce> that you wish to construct a new distribution for some
Bruce> distribution-related purpose.  If you merely wish to
Bruce> verify that the parts that you can build are built
Bruce> correctly, you would invoke, "make check".  If you are
Bruce> making a distribution, then that distribution needs to
Bruce> be verified that all parts of it are functional.  It
Bruce> would be difficult to verify the functionality of ag2xml
Bruce> if you do not have libxml2.  Therefore, I do not think
Bruce> it is correct to try to do a "make dist" when all
Bruce> components cannot be built.

I tend to disagree.  First, `make dist' is a *user* target and
I'd expect it to work even when some part of the tree is not
being built.  For instance a user might have fixed the package
locally, and will want to run `make dist' in order to carry his
fixed version to other hosts.  He may not care about the subpart
of the package that isn't build.  Second, there are cases where
it is simply not possible to build all directories: setup with
architecture-dependent directories come to mind.

Hear! Hear! It is best/necessary to recurse all directories and use Automake conditionals to map out parts that shouldn't be built.

For a properly maintained open source package using Automake, any user with appropriate standard tools (may need some GNU versions to fix bugs) should be able to extract the distribution to a directory, configure it, and then be able to successfully execute any target documented in the Automake manual. This should be a requirement for any GPLed or LGPLed package since failure to support this flexibilty is a failure to support the spirit of GPL and open source in general.

Any recipient of the package should have the ability to become a package "maintainer" without removing site/developer specific hacks.

Bob Friesenhahn

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