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Re: Witness computation - minor breakage in the build system

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Re: Witness computation - minor breakage in the build system
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 00:08:59 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Paul Eggert <address@hidden>:
> Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> >I think the fixed Makefile code would
> >remain unpleasantly fragile, and the witness-path computation is
> >best moved to the configure stage.
> I've never understood the need for having the
> last-repository-change date affect the build, and
> would favor removing all the vcswitness stuff.

Here's what the src/Makefile.in says about it:

## VCSWITNESS points to the file that holds info about the current checkout.
## We use it as a heuristic to decide when to rebuild loaddefs.el.
## If empty it is ignored; the parent makefile can set it to some other value.

It would make my life simpler if this mechanism were removed; that's one of only
two dependencies of Cazaar in the entire build (the other one is in 
lisp/version.el).  And the fact that the bug went undetected suggests that
the mechanism wasn't very useful.

Anyone want to argue for keeping this?  Support removing it?  Suggest
something else?
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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