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Re: default -g ??!?

From: MK
Subject: Re: default -g ??!?
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2010 15:04:57 -0500

On Sat, 20 Nov 2010 12:13:38 -0500
Paul Smith <address@hidden> wrote:
> This chapter has no relationship to any default BUILT INTO or REQUIRED
> by GNU make; in fact there IS NO default value for CFLAGS built into
> GNU make:

Hmm, well it seems to via autotools.  But since this is not
inescapable (which is what I first took this to mean, not being a big
"make" user), no big deal.  Sorry again for over-reacting.

> Of course you can do what you like, but I should point out that the
> recommendations from the GNU people are the best practices resulting
> from decades of producing and using free software products.  If I were
> you I'd take advantage of that experience.

I have every respect for GNU, but the justification used in that
document is just patronizing: implying that normal users will be
left "helpless" or that it represents a "devil-may-care" attitude.  I
have been programming long enough to recognize that is someone's
opinion, and not a general truth.   Dare I say that presenting it so
strongly is a little "unprofessional"?

Justifications WRT to distro packaging issues, however, seem much more
reasonable.  However, my conundrum is that I do not think this is a good
default for people who build from source: years ago, when I was a new
linux user and used to build stuff from source a lot, I was in the
habit of stip-all'ing. Now I only source build for particular things,
and I suppose I got out of this habit for a while and forgot about it.
So I was surprised this morning to recognize that most of the binaries
in my /usr/local had debugging symbols!   And after stripping *, I
noticed that gvim loads much quicker, heh-heh.

Point being: while users of the source can opt for  this (if they know),
it just seems like a bad policy to by default leave them with a product
that needlessly wastes a considerable amount of memory and may not
perform as well as it could.

I believe most of my users do build from source (and often could be
new to the process), so it is not very satisfying for me to "add a note
to the README", etc, in order to accommodate distro packaging. It seems
to me that since the packagers *in general* should be considered more
expert, the onus should be on them to "./configure CFLAGS=[our flags]".

Obviously this is against the grain, but I do not really want to kowtow
to a "Goliath rules David" type extortion whereby the distros say, your
default build *must* contain debugging symbols.  I suppose that might
mean having to maintain a slightly different package just for them; no
big deal, but still I think a poor compromise consequential of bad


"The angel of history[...]is turned toward the past." (Walter Benjamin)

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