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Moving findutils to a common build-from-source-tree system: bootstrap

From: James Youngman
Subject: Moving findutils to a common build-from-source-tree system: bootstrap
Date: Sat, 28 May 2011 14:51:33 +0100

[ I'm copying bug-gnulib mostly in case someone over there would like
to warn us that the grass on the bootstrap side of the river is not
quite as green as it first appeared. ]

I just tried building GNU emacs from its bzr checkout instead of a
tarball.    This I made hard for myself by using "make" instead of
"make bootstrap" (as Emacs's INSTALL.BZR tells us to do).  The
experience underlined to me that, while the GNU build system has made
building things from source tarballs incredibly simple...

  ./configure && make

... the same is not true when the source comes from a checkout rather
than a release tarball.   In the case of findutils, for no good reason
too, now that git implements submodules.   git submodules allow us to
track gnulib as a regular part of the findutils source tree instead of
needing to encode its revision in "import-gnulib.config".

So I propose, over time, for these changes to happen to findutils:

1. switch to using gnulib as a git submodule (instead of, as now,
having a shell script which checks out the correct version of it).
2. use some version of the "bootstrap" script (bootstrap is used in
coreutils too and canonically lives in gnulib).

This will allow findutils to be built with what might become a
standard invocation sequence

( some source tree checkout command ) && ./bootstrap &&
./configure && make

I don't have time right now to make this happen, but I do intend to
get to it eventually.   Meanwhile, if anybody would like to submit
patches, that would be just fine.


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