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Re: autoreconf --force seemingly does not forcibly update everything


From: Nick Bowler
Subject: Re: autoreconf --force seemingly does not forcibly update everything
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2024 17:27:51 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird

On 2024-04-01 16:43, Guillem Jover wrote:
> But if as a downstream distribution I explicitly request everything
> to be considered obsolete via --force, then I really do want to get
> whatever is in the system instead of in the upstream package.

If I distribute a release package, what I have tested is exactly what is
in that package.  If you start replacing different versions of m4 macros,
or use some distribution-patched autoconf/automake/libtool or whatever,
then this you have invalidated any and all release testing.

This is fine, modifying a package and distributing modified versions
are freedoms 1 and 3, but if it breaks you keep both pieces.

The aclocal --install feature should be seen as a feature to help update
dependencies as part of the process of preparing a modified version, not
something that should ever be routinely performed by system integrators.

GNU/Linux distributions have a long history of buggy backports to the
autotools.  For a recent example, Gentoo shipped a broken libtool 2.4.6
which included a patch to make Gentoo installs go faster but if you
prepared a package with this broken libtool version, the resulting
package would not build on HP-UX, oops.

Cheers,
  Nick



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