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From: Diego Elio Pettenò
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2013 13:40:09 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130113 Thunderbird/17.0.2

On 08/02/2013 13:26, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> But maintainer-mode won't help you here; it will just cause make to ignore
> some remake rules that require maintainer tools, so you are *more* likely
> to end up with a subtly and silently broken package (or at least one that
> is in an inconsistent state).  No?

Definitely not inconsistent: it'll be consistently messed up in the same

> (Aside: No it doesn't; if a package has been bootstrapped with 1.9.x,
>  it will call "automake-1.9" and "aclocal-1.9" in the rebuild rules,
>  ensuring the correct versions are used, or that the remake fails if
>  those versions are not available).

Sometimes, sometimes not. I've seen it happen, especially for older
automakes. I think it might have something to do on whether they were
built with a suffix or not, when they made the dist.

> But if the patch legitimately modified some, then you are
> as much as screwed if you do not re-bootstrap with the autotools in a
> controlled fashion nor have the automatic remake rules kick in: the
> Makefile will not be regenerated, which might cause build errors (in
> the best scenario) or leave the built package in an inconsistent
> state.

Again, the consistency issue is the other way from what you think: if it
always fails, and the patch to always get ignored, it's much
more consistent than it sometimes sticking, and sometimes not. For a
distribution packager that has to troubleshoot errors, that consistency
is gold.

> But still, it is conceptually wrong, because it suggests that having
> incompletely specified dependencies is a legitimate way to avoid
> potentially useless rebuilds due to issues in other tools.

It's conceptually wrong that I need to fix every other package because
upstream ignores most of the best practices ever said about development,
but I still have to deal with it.

We have a split here: you want a perfect world where nothing that is
conceptually wrong exists; I live in a world where conceptually wrong is
daily bread and I want a weapon against time waste.

> But OTOH, I certainly do not want to encourage any new use of it: unless
> I'm still missing something fundamental here, AM_MAINTAINER_MODE is
> basically an hack to work around suboptimal practices or brokenness
> in other tools, and we should work toward fixing those rather than
> offering brittle workarounds.

If that's what you want, fine. Do know that I _will_ fiercely suggest to
developers to use AM_MAINTAINER_MODE([enable]) in their It
does not make a change by default, but it allows us to have a
reproducible build,     which is what we really need.

Diego Elio Pettenò — Flameeyes
address@hidden —

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