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Re: how to detect broken install-sh?

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: how to detect broken install-sh?
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 09:27:20 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-08-09)

Hi Brian, Russ,

* Russ Allbery wrote on Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 09:10:52AM CEST:
> Brian Gough writes:
> > Maybe it would be good to have a check for problems with install-sh.
> > I can see a couple of ways this could be done:
> >   - make distcheck could (i) use install-sh and (ii) independently
> >     check that all files which are supposed to be installed actually
> >     do get installed.
> The various supporting files that Automake includes in the distribution
> package, including install-sh, do all generally have version numbers in
> some form.  Maybe distcheck should just directly check that the included
> files have sufficiently recent versions?  I know that version checks
> normally go against the philosophy of the Autotools, but in this case
> they're files shipped by Automake itself, and it might be the easiest
> path.

True.  However, I remember at least once seeing packages where the
author intentionally replaced the install-sh script for some reason.
I don't want to call that unsupported outright, because after all, the
script might just be buggy.  I think we can expect the replacement to
have all desired functionality though.

Checking at AC_PROG_INSTALL time seems interesting; but what about the
GNU/Linux-only package that has replaced install-sh with an empty file
"because our kernel module doesn't ever run elsewhere"?  (We can decide
to require them to fix their package; but that's a NEWS-worthy change.)
Checking the script only on systems where it will be used is feasible,
but won't gain you much confidence while testing on other systems.


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