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RPM debuginfo problems

When I try to rebuild Fedora RPMs, I routinely complaints like:
    error: Could not open %files file
/home/esmith/rpmbuild/BUILD/kernel-utils-2.4/debugfiles.list: No such
file or directory

Google shows that many other people encounter this as well.  The
conventional wisdom seems to be that the solution is to edit the
spec file to add:
    %define debug_package %{nil}
Or (better) add to ~/.rpmmacros:
    %debug_package %{nil}

While this does allow the RPM to be built, it is not a particularly
satisfying solution.  It seems unlikely that these SRPMS are being
distributed in a broken state, so surely there must be some intent that
they build correctly WITH a debug package as output.  The Fedora
download server does offer debuginfo RPMs for all of the packages for
which I've seen this problem, so obviously it can be done.

So my question is, how is this SUPPOSED to work?  Why doesn't building
these packages work correctly "out-of-the-box", and what is required to
get it to do so?

Eric Smith

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