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Re: how to detect broken install-sh?

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: how to detect broken install-sh?
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 20:38:39 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Mon, 28 Sep 2009, Robert Collins wrote:

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.

There are really only two approaches which work. One is the "portable" approach taken now. The other is to require installation of a full GNU toolset and radically simplify Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool so they only need to work with this toolset. Installing coreutils is a substantial step toward installing a full GNU toolset.

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

This violates a core principle of GNU in that "benefits" should be for the benefit of the recipients of the software rather than for the for the developers of it. GNU is a communistic/Marxist type model rather than a capitalistic model. In the old days, the benefits were for the developers and the users had to muddle through a difficult procedure for every package that they installed.

To be sure, I will be quite supportive of a build framework if it is based on a small package which is easily installed, and the build no longer needs to be cobbled together with a mismash of Unix utilities. Of course this build environment needs to be self-contained, well supported, and would probably take five or seven years to fully develop. There have been a number of independent attempts in this direction but it seems that none has come close to the popularity of autotools.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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