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Re: Rarely rebuilt files

From: Nick Bowler
Subject: Re: Rarely rebuilt files
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:31:19 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.22 (2013-10-16)


On 2014-11-11 22:07 +0200, fr33domlover wrote:
> On 2014-11-11
> Simon Richter <address@hidden> wrote:
> > On 11.11.2014 18:50, fr33domlover wrote:
> > 
> > > When I ran `make distcheck`, it failed because the HTML files don't get
> > > cleaned by `make distclean`. That makes sense, but specifically for my
> > > package this is not an error.
> Hmmm I think I didn't make myself clear. So just to make sure, before I cause
> confusion: The files are indeed distributed validaly. The "problem" is that
> they are not cleaned by `make distclean`. I intentionally made them clean only
> on `make maintainer-clean`. When `make distcheck` sees they don't get cleaned
> by `make distclean`, it produces an error.

I think your distribution tarballs are not working properly in VPATH
builds.  Distcheck has found the problem but it is maybe not reporting
it very well.  Here's a simplified view of how distcheck tests "make

  - It unpacks the distribution tarball to be tested, and marks all
    unpacked files read-only.

  - It runs configure in a separate, empty directory, i.e., srcdir
    != builddir.

  - After doing a bunch of other tests, it runs "make distclean".

  - Then, if the build directory is not empty, report an error.

What is probably happening is that in VPATH builds from your tarball,
your documentation is being rebuilt even though it was distributed.
This is leaving files behind in your build directory, which distcheck
is then complaining about.

Hope that helps,
Nick Bowler, Elliptic Technologies (

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