[Fedora-packaging] Re: Modifying upstream tarballs

Patrice Dumas pertusus at free.fr
Wed Jun 6 15:35:37 UTC 2007

On Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 03:52:21PM +0200, Axel Thimm wrote:
> > No, it means "avoid running the autotools as part of building and patch
> > instead to achieve deterministic builds for Fedora".
> But the patches (to configure/Makefile.in) are supposedly generated in
> a way that a typical Fedora system cannot reproduce, otherwise why not
> generate them on the fly?

Because these changes should also be reviewed. In some cases the
patcheset is too big and complicated such that it may become right
to call the autotools, but for many changes a diff to be reviewed for
autotool generated files is better. 

> <ignoring uncomfortable sighing/>flex and yacc are also code
> generators, so now we forbid the use of generating code? And what's
> that --enable-maintainer-mode again? I guess autotools really disagree
> with your POV.

The fact that something exists doesn't mean that it should be abused. 
Flex and yacc also shouldn't be used in fedora. And when they need to 
be it may be better to give the resulting diff, in case it is

> There is absolutely no reason to forbid generating code whatsoever, on
> the contrary, it's far beter to have small master source file changes
> that can be reviewed and modified than to have patches to generated
> files that one cannot really modify anymore. You lose part of the
> openness in open source that way.

There should be both in the diff: a diff to the Makefile.am file, for 
example, and also the change to the Makefile.in. That way you have both.

> And again: If the derived source code changes are not reproducible
> with Fedora tools, then the package is neither revieable, nor
> maintainable in Fedora space at all.

Not necessarily, if the patch to the autotool generated files are clear

I don't think rerunning autotools should be avoided at all costs, but 
I have seen many reviews where it is easier to review the changes by
providing patches for the primary files and for the generated files,
to understand what changed also in the generated files.


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