Subject: Re: BUILD_DEPENDS on autoconf
To: NetBSD Packages Technical Discussion List <>
From: Alistair Crooks <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 05/30/2002 19:30:59
On Thu, May 30, 2002 at 12:19:28PM -0400, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> [ On , May 30, 2002 at 12:53:05 (+0200), Johan Danielsson wrote: ]
> > Subject: BUILD_DEPENDS on autoconf
> >
> > 
> > I think we should make this an error. It should be pretty easy for
> > whoever makes changes to to also include a patch for
> > configure.
> To words:  NO WAY.  or:  Absolutely not.
> Patches for generated files are very bad in all cases, especially for
> "configure" scripts where the result will be enormous, and will be even
> larger (perhaps and order of magnitude of percentage larger) for newer
> versions of autoconf >= 2.52.
> (and hand-hacked patches are right out of the question!)

If we could just moderate the tone of this discussion...

I've never understood the insistence that everything should be done
by patching the input, and re-generating the configure
scripts from that. To me, it introduces build-dependencies on autoconf,
which are onerous in the extreme - nowadays, it means that perl needs
to be installed on a system before you can build autoconf, and thus,
to patch a package which needs modifications to its configure script,
perl is a necessary pre-requisite.

Like I said, that's a very high price to pay, and I've yet to see
any justification for that price.  Please enlighten me.