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Re: Autotools-generated 'configure' & '' considered binaries?

From: zimoun
Subject: Re: Autotools-generated 'configure' & '' considered binaries?
Date: Mon, 02 May 2022 12:55:09 +0200


On Tue, 05 Apr 2022 at 14:06, Ludovic Courtès <> wrote:

>> Changing all pre-existing packages, maybe.  But doing this for new
>> packages (reducing review effort) and perhaps when a package is updated
>> (for purity) should be feasible I think?  Then gradually things would
>> improve and eventually(TM) doing the switch in the bootstrap phase may
>> become feasible ...
> Yes, we could do that as a first step (in fact it’s already happening as
> some projects no longer distribute tarballs).

Moreover, what appears to me unexpected is that the ’gnu-build-system’
run ’autoreconf’ but Autotools are not part of the build inputs by
default and the user has to explicitly add them.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(define* (bootstrap #:key (bootstrap-scripts %bootstrap-scripts)
  "If the code uses Autotools and \"configure\" is missing, run
\"autoreconf\".  Otherwise do nothing."


  (if (not (script-exists? "configure"))

                (invoke "autoreconf" "-vif")
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

For sure, it leads to some issues for the deep nodes in the bootstrap
chain.  And it also leads to some other issues as fetching tarballs for
saving bandwidth or for checking signature, etc.

However, IMHO, the logic should be reverted:

 - include by default Autotools and run ’autoreconf’ by default
 - for some cases, use the provided ’./configure’ script


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