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Re: another gnulib update

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: another gnulib update
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2007 11:21:33 -0800

Hi gnulibers, Eric,

On 23 Feb 2007, at 09:05, Eric Blake wrote:
Eric Blake <ebb9 <at> byu.net> writes:

Gnulib just enhanced <string.h> to guarantee GNU properties, obsoleting
minor headers in the process.

Another gnulib update during my 2-week vacation got rid of exit.h. At this point, because of the number of extensive gnulib changes, I'm thinking of releasing m4 1.4.8b to alpha.gnu.org, and soliciting build sanity checks prior
to formally releasing 1.4.9.

For this reason, and for the difficulty of reboot-strapping old releases
of gnulib using projects, I find the anti-release model of gnulib somewhat depressing. It would be nice for gnulib to make occasional feature freezes,
or release branches, or to maintain stable and development branches, or
otherwise to provide time for testing and stabilizing some version of the
gnulib codebase every now and again.

This way it would be possible to recreate an old M4 release tarball from a CVS snapshot. I don't think tracking changes to gnulib maintained files in the M4 CVS tree is a sensible solution, and nor does that solve the problem of needing to keep up with sometimes radical gnulib changes in the face of
trying to prepare for a release of a project that uses gnulib.

Perhaps M4 should release `gnulib-for-m4-1.4.9.tar.gz' in parallel with
`m4-1.4.9.tar.gz' to mitigate that, maybe taking a snapshot of the gnulib tree as a starting point a few weeks before the release, and incorporating
only bugfixes for the modules M4 cares about between the gnulib snapshot
and the M4 release?  But that feels ugly compared to doing that kind of
release maintenance inside the gnulib project. How do other gnulib client
projects solve this problem?

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