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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: Tue, 9 Apr 2024 23:48:16 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird

On 2024-04-09 18:06, Sam James wrote:
> Nick poses that a specific combination of tools is what is tested and
> anything else invalidates it. But how does this work when building on
> a system that was never tested on, or with different flags, or a
> different toolchain?
>
> It's reasonable to say "look, if you do this, please both state it
> clearly and also do some investigation first to see if you can
> reproduce it with my macros", but I don't think it's a crime for
> someone to attempt it either.

To be clear, I don't mean to suggest that modifying a package by
replacing m4 sources with different versions and/or regenerating
configure with a different version of Autoconf is something that
should never be done by downstream distributors.  If doing this
solves some particular problem, then by all means do it, that's
an important part of what free software is all about.

What I have a problem with is the suggestion that distributors should
systematically throw away actually-tested configure scripts by just
discarding any m4 source files that appear to be copied from another
project (Gnulib, in this case), copying in new ones from a possibly
different version of that project, regenerating the configure script
using a possibly different version of Autoconf, and then expecting
that this process will produce high-quality results.

Cheers,
  Nick



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