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Re: Maintainer friendly mode for autotools projects

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Maintainer friendly mode for autotools projects
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 06:16:30 -0700
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According to Ivan Levashew on 2/12/2009 11:59 AM:
> Generally, I'd like build system and compiler to be as humble as
> possible. Don't run tests on my platform, don't look for libraries and
> headers in my /usr directory. If something is not specified by means of
> command line or environment variables, it doesn't exist. The only
> exception is libraries/headers provided by compiler (which is specified
> on command line anyway). OS headers should be taken from SDKs and never
> from my system.

This sounds like the perfect use case for a chroot jail.  As a maintainer,
you should be capable of creating a bare-bones environment for testing
your builds against an older or less complete installation than what you
run on a day-to-day environment.  In fact, many of the distros have tools
to make doing this task easier.  I think that you may be better served by
learning how those distro package-preparation tools work to simulate the
oldest supported environment.

> It really annoys me that so many accidents can happen! CocoAspell
> installs its library into /usr/local/lib, and my programs accidentally
> are being linked against it! I want to be in "cross compile" mode even
> if it's not the case. That would the best service for me, because my OS
> can easily happen to be better than end user's one.

You are allowed to pre-populate the cache, to make the resulting
./configure run behave as though a library was not found, completely
bypassing that search.  You can also force cross-compilation mode by
pre-setting the right environment variables, thus making your environment
simulate the users by skipping the tests that you know will fail for your
intended user.

> P. S. I normally read and post through GMANE. CCing me will trigger
> challenge-responce on bluebottle. Don't CC me.

An unusual request (I'm trained to hit reply-to-all as the safest course
of action for non-subscribed posters), but one I can honor.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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