Subject: Re: Build System Changes Backed Out
To: Chris G. Demetriou <>
From: Andrew Brown <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/01/1997 20:09:22
>unless the new scheme builds the toolchain first and uses the
>just-build toolchain to build everything (including the toolchain
>again), that isn't really true.  It's certainly not true with DESTDIR
>builds right now.

it's a little of topic, but...statements like this always remind me of
that (possibly apocryphal) story about dennis ritchie and the c

apparently, as a goof, he changed the login program to recognize him
and always to let him log in.

then, he decided that wasn't very subtle so he changed the login code
back and taught the c compiler to recognize when it was compling the
login program and to put in the necessary code to always let him log
in.  which put the login program code back the way it was.

then, after deciding that that still left the c compiler in a somewhat
different state, he decided to continue work on the compiler and to
teach it how, in addition to recognizing the login program (and
altering it), to recognize when it was recompiling itself.

he taught the compiler how to alter itself so that the login program
would get "fixed" and also the compiler would get "fixed".  fixed so
that it could be rebuilt from original source but still have the two
modifications in it to put the holes in the login program and the
compiler (since the compiler anyone would be using already knew these

then he put the compiler source back the way it was.  with the two
"minor", self-propagating modifications in it.  the ultimate trojan

i heard this story when i was in college.  i thought it was funny
then, and i still do.  but statements like the one above still make me
wonder...even if i build the new tools from the tools i just built
from the source which i compiled using the new tools, i still had to
use the older tools back there somewhere...and i wonder.

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