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Re: [Bug-stow] manual: use of prefix redirection @ make install time vs

From: Adam Spiers
Subject: Re: [Bug-stow] manual: use of prefix redirection @ make install time vs DESTDIR
Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2011 17:00:39 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Hi Claudio (if you are still there ...)

I realise it's over 2 years since this mail was sent :) At which point
I wasn't even on this mailing list, let alone a maintainer.  But for
the benefit of the list archives at least ...

On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 10:31:10PM +0200, Claudio Fontana wrote:
> Hello,
> I quickly read through the stow manual, the chapter about how
> to configure/install software from source for later use with
> stow.
> I think that a better course of action at make install time is
> to just let the prefix be, (no prefix= redirection) and instead use
> DESTDIR for the staged installation.
> http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/standards.html#DESTDIR
> DESTDIR has good support in most GNU packages (emacs included btw),
> so maybe the manual could be updated to cite DESTDIR?

My first reaction was that you are right, but then I thought about it
further and realised that DESTDIR does not help with this.

For example, if the stow directory is /usr/local/stow and the target
directory is /usr/local, then software using autotools would have to
be installed via

  ./configure --prefix=/usr/local

(although the --prefix option is probably redundant since I think
/usr/local is the default.)

This is so that the various installed components look for each other
under the target directory hierarchy (where they will eventually be
stowed to) rather than under the stow directory hierarchy.

But then there is no value for DESTDIR which will install the
components correctly into the stow directory.  If you do

  make install DESTDIR=/usr/local/stow

then it simply prefixes the installation paths with /usr/local/stow,
so you'd end up with paths like /usr/local/stow/usr/local/share/doc.

So in fact I believe the way currently documented in the manual
(i.e. using prefix= redirection) *is* correct, and I'm not aware of a
better way.

The only remaining question is whether the manual's claims about emacs
being an exception are still accurate.  I suspect not, and would
welcome help in finding this out.


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