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Re: Patches to README-release

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: Patches to README-release
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 12:05:43 +0100

Gary V. Vaughan wrote:

> Hi Jim,
> On 28 Jan 2012, at 16:28, Jim Meyering wrote:
>> Gary V. Vaughan wrote:
>>> I'm wondering what purpose AC_PREREQ (etc) really
>>> serves if you're not using them to encode the versions of the
>>> autotools that are
>>> required to bootstrap a package in the way expected by the maintainers.
>> It permits one to build the package unmodified on systems for which
>> the latest version of autoconf will never be available.
>> This is a big for e.g., libvirt.
> That's a good point.  So, will users of libvirt (when using compatible
> older autotools
> releases) want to be able to run bootstrap?

Yes, though I presume you understand it's developers, not users.
If bootstrap itself were to enforce a latest-stable requirement, it
would cause grief for any developer not using the equivalent of Fedora
rawhide or Debian's unstable -- and sometimes even those lack the latest
stable version of some build tool, though not for long.

> If so, then my implementation in saner bootstrap is correct, and
> keeping the paragraph
> in README-release we're discussing is correct too... but I need to
> revise my thinking
> about AC_PREREQ and friends a little, and not misuse them to name latest 
> stable
> releases.  And also make a point of testing old versions of autotools

I wouldn't call it "misuse".
It's a compromise to accommodate developers who build from cloned
sources.  If no one has complained, then it's probably ok (and IMHO
recommended) to require the latest versions.

> to reaffirm the
> correctnesss of AC_PREREQ (etc), which is something I stopped doing a
> while ago as it
> consumes a lot of time, for (what I then thought) was little tangible gain.

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