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Re: Yet another bootstrap failure: Required feature `esh-groups' was not

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Yet another bootstrap failure: Required feature `esh-groups' was not provided
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 23:41:36 +0300

> Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2008 20:35:41 +0000
> From: Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden
> Our makefile system is broken.  The whole point of the make utility is to
> build software automatically, so that hackers don't need to waste their
> time messing with arcane minutiae.  Is it really to much to expect to be
> able to type
>     % ./configure <params>; make some-target
> and have the software build (modulo errors in the files.{c,el}?

This does work, just not in an arbitrary CVS-updated sandbox.  That
is, in a release tarball, the configury behaves exactly as you want it

> Forgive my sarcasm, but am I supposed to read through (or diff) the
> entire Emacs process documentation every time I update Emacs, just in
> case some crazed lunatic, er sorry, I mean some conscientious hacker, has
> "enhanced" it?

Sorry, Alan, but your expectations are too high.  AFAIK, a bootstrap
build is guaranteed to work only in a fresh CVS checkout.  It is not
guaranteed to work in a sandbox littered by stale files.  I agree that
it would be great to have more, but it's a lot of work, and the
results cannot be reasonably tested in practice, since the number of
different ways you can screw up your sandbox is infinite.

People who regularly update from CVS trunk are expected to be able to
tinker with their files, and have enough energy for that.

> Just as a matter of interest, in the last few months on emacs-devel
> there have been approximately these numbers of threads complaining about
> Emacs CVS not building:
> May:       7
> April:     9
> March:     9
> February:  2

That's expected, in a trunk that is actively developed by many
contributors at once.

> Whatever the reason, this is a horrendous time sink.  Failure to build
> the CVS head should essentially _never_ happen - possibly once or twice
> a year at most.

Sorry, but it's hopelessly unrealistic to request that.  Given the
number of different platforms we support, it is impractical even to
request that any given change will compile on all of them, let alone
build without a hitch.

> Recently, I proposed installing a tool on savannah which would trigger a
> test build every time source files were committed.  The proposal didn't
> meet with much enthusiasm.

Well, how about volunteering to do it, then?  It obviously bugs you
enough to make you a motivated individual.

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