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Re: build broken: no defun org-float-time. Who's guilty, and what does

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: build broken: no defun org-float-time. Who's guilty, and what does he propose?
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 13:35:56 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, Miles,

On Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 07:05:32PM +0900, Miles Bader wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:
> > This is a serious process bug we have, we've had for years, and we
> > MUST fix.  If it's not fixed soon, I'm just going to give up on Emacs
> > maintenance and bid the project goodbye.  The pain level is too high.

> I agree that this sort of thing can be annoying, but the procedure for
> dealing with such things is well known and not particular onerous:
> "make bootstrap" (could be a bit onerous if you've got a very slow
> machine though)

Maybe I'm not as much of a real man as you are.

I find the process onerous indeed.  The build fails, you've got to read
error messages, possibly grep the source code for a missing symbol, have
a quick check of ChangeLog (MOST of us put details of changes there), ...

And yes, make bootstrap takes a long time, where a long time is perhaps
20 minutes or half an hour.  Very slow PCs haven't been sold since the
1990s, so there probably aren't too many of them being used by Emacsers.

The point is, make should work.  Not best out of ten, not all but a "few
times a year", but always, modulo the occasional real screwup.

> Moreover, it happens very rarely -- I'd guess only a few times a year,

No, it happens frequently -- I'd guess several times a year.

> and far less often than the more usual sort of problem where somebody
> just committed a bogus change that simply doesn't compile (though that
> kind of problem is fairly rare too).

Er, excuse me, but that comes into the category of build failure too.
There's no justice in committing build-breaking changes, it's anything
but just.  It's a window in the donkey for everybody.  That our process
allows it is a bug.  We earnestly discussed fixes about a year ago.

> I don't know how you get "the pain level is too high" out of that...

Because I've been sensitised to it by the repeated instances of it over
the last few years.  It happened to me this morning, only the second or
third time I've cvs updated since the release of 23.1.  Because it
completely throws my train of thought, destroying my morning's work.

Above all, because it forces me to do dumb, brainless, moronic stuff
which a computer program, for example a build script, could do far
faster, painlessly, with less effort than me.

Having forced myself to look at it, it's fairly obvious.  The build
process is loading the wrong file in response to (require 'org-exp).
It's loading an out of date file, because our makefiles are broken.
That's not news to anybody.  And make bootstrap is a ridiculous
overreaction to one out of date file.elc.

Maybe the solution is, somehow, to load the more up to date of foo.el and
foo.elc during the build process.  In fact, the build process even admits
it knows that "source file foo.el newrt than byte-compiled file".
There's probably a terribly good reason why it doesn't fix the problem
rather than just reporting it.

> -Miles

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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