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bug#49317: closed (dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no reason

From: GNU bug Tracking System
Subject: bug#49317: closed (dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no reason to)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 01:38:02 +0000

Your message dated Thu, 15 Jul 2021 19:37:25 -0600
with message-id <202107160137.16G1bPJU025637@freefriends.org>
and subject line Re: bug#49317: dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no 
reason to
has caused the debbugs.gnu.org bug report #49317,
regarding dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no reason to
to be marked as done.

(If you believe you have received this mail in error, please contact

49317: http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=49317
GNU Bug Tracking System
Contact help-debbugs@gnu.org with problems
--- Begin Message --- Subject: dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no reason to Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2021 13:52:44 +0200
BUILT_SOURCES solves a useful problem and we use it in our package for
a few things.  Its stated purpose (from the docs) is all about
compilation and dependency tracking.  It makes sense that
$(BUILT_SOURCES) should then be built as a prerequisite before any
targets that result in compilation: all, check, install-exec, ...

`make dist` doesn't compile the program, though: it distributes the
sources.  And usually generated files are not distributed.  If they
were to be disted, they could be listed explicitly for being disted
(for example in a _SOURCES variable or so).  We go out of the way to
put our compiled sources in nodist_ variables, and indeed, they're not

But because of the above dependency `make dist` still builds them (and
then ignores them).

Of course, there might be a edgecase where the disted tarball should
contain content that is output by a C program which needs to be
compiled and contains, itself, some generated sources.  Indeed, this
change was introduced in 2017, in this commit:

commit ac47c22e3c0c8b055cdd47ccd18621c56f807b37
Author:     Jim Meyering <meyering@fb.com>
AuthorDate: Thu Mar 20 12:31:32 2014 -0700
Commit:     Jim Meyering <meyering@fb.com>
CommitDate: Tue Nov 28 19:05:59 2017 -0800

    "make dist" did not depend on $(BUILT_SOURCES)

in response to this report:


GNU Hello builds its manpage (which it dists) by building and running
the binary and capturing its --help output.

A blanket depend on $(BUILT_SOURCES) for all automake-using projects
seems to be much too large of a hammer to solve that specific problem.

Thanks very much,

Allison Karlitskaya

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message --- Subject: Re: bug#49317: dist: depends on $(BUILT_SOURCES), but has no reason to Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 19:37:25 -0600
Hi Allison - Jim finished pushing your patch a day or two
ago. Complications in testing. Thanks for the contribution! --karl

--- End Message ---

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