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Re: how to detect broken install-sh?

From: Robert Collins
Subject: Re: how to detect broken install-sh?
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 10:51:40 +1000

On Sun, 2009-09-27 at 18:59 -0500, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Sep 2009, Robert Collins wrote:
> >
> > The landscape has changed though, and I suspect that if we gather stats
> > about this we'll see that install-sh is dead weight for most packages
> > nearly all of the time.
> Maybe the landscape has changed for you, but not necessarily for 
> everyone.  Installing "coreutils" could be quite a burden and the 
> tools might conflict with the OS-provided equivalents.

I'm not a strong enough believer in the Copenhagen school to think that
I'm in a different universe. I'll agree that the distribution of OSs is
different for each open source project. But - data needed - for either
of us to reason effectively on this. As far as conflicting, there are
multiple well established places to install things that won't
conflict: /opt /usr/local ~/local - plus you can just make one up and
put it in your path.

> > Its true that it is not a lot of dead weight, but at some point we
> > should be raising the bar - ever so slightly - on what we bundle into
> > the tarball. At one point we never required a Make implementation that
> > does includes, now we do [for dependency tracking] - and sure we degrade
> > well.
> The make implementation that does includes is only for developers of 
> the package.  It is not necessary to have a fancy make to build the 
> software.

It is if you want dependency tracking [and yes, one time builds
shouldn't need that, unless they ship with an unsettled graph]. As a
fraction, amongst your users, who do all of the following:
 - build their own binaries
 - do so with /no/ modifications to the code
 - on a platform with no suitable install program

Thats the key number - the amount of benefit that install-sh gives you.

> > All I'm suggesting is that the time has come to let folk on the small
> > proportion of machines without a sufficiently useful install, build it -
> > exactly as they have to build any other dependency they are lacking.
> What other dependency might they be lacking?  My own package is quite 
> large but all of the dependencies are optional.

Lets start at the ridiculous and propose that they are missing a C


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