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VPATH distcheck build fails

From: Tim Rühsen
Subject: VPATH distcheck build fails
Date: Sat, 4 May 2019 14:19:48 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1


I am possible at the wrong ML now, but see the braking shell code as
well in gnulib/build-aux/po/Makefile.in.in.

The make target '$(DOMAIN).pot-update:' contains this code:
          if test -f $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot; then \
            sed -f remove-potcdate.sed < $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot >
$(DOMAIN).1po && \
            sed -f remove-potcdate.sed < $(DOMAIN).po > $(DOMAIN).2po && \
            if cmp $(DOMAIN).1po $(DOMAIN).2po >/dev/null 2>&1; then \
              rm -f $(DOMAIN).1po $(DOMAIN).2po $(DOMAIN).po; \
            else \
              rm -f $(DOMAIN).1po $(DOMAIN).2po $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot && \
              mv $(DOMAIN).po $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot; \
            fi; \
          else \
            mv $(DOMAIN).po $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot; \
          fi; \

In a vpath build (using the configure script outside the main project
directory), the line
              rm -f $(DOMAIN).1po $(DOMAIN).2po $(srcdir)/$(DOMAIN).pot
is triggered and thus breaks 'make distcheck'.

This due to all files in $(srcdir) are read-only.

What is the general advice from the experts here how to deal with it ?

Projects like GNU Wget fail on the first run, others need a second run
to trigger the error:

rm: cannot remove '../../../po/wget.pot': Permission denied
make[6]: *** [Makefile:223: wget.pot-update] Error 1
make[6]: Leaving directory

Regards, Tim

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