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Re: Mutilated stdlib.h

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Mutilated stdlib.h
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 02:21:24 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9

Eric Blake wrote:
> It would be really nice if gnulib-tool
> --update/--add-import/--remove-import could be taught to automatically
> remove all generated headers, which would solve the above problem and
> still allow incremental builds without needing an intervening 'make
> distclean'.

I'm against this because:

  - If gnulib-tool removes the generated files stdio.h, stdlib.h, and similar,
    the "make" process will rebuild a majority of the .o files and all
    tests programs. Not much of a win, compared to running "make clean".

  - It goes against the architecture of the GNU build system. The architecture
    consists of several layers:
      - git, gnulib-tool, libtoolize, etc.    which fetch source code.
      - aclocal, automake, autoconf           which create generated files
      - configure                             which determines system
                                              dependent substitutions
      - make                                  which builds object files
    If we try to make the upper layer interfere with the lowest layer
    directly (not even by running "make clean" but through hacked magic),
    the result will be a mess.

  - As explained in the other mails, the generated headers are not the
    only unreliability. Renamed source files, renamed m4 macros, etc.
    can still lead to problems, even if the problem with the generated
    headers was solved.

In memoriam Karim Mohammedzadeh 

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