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Re: Building subversion with libtool 1.4

From: Jon Trowbridge <trow_at_ximian.com>
Date: 2001-07-09 07:52:34 CEST

On 08 Jul 2001 21:56:20 -0700, Mo DeJong wrote:
> Ok, let's just assume for a moment that upgrading will break
> every build and that some amount of work will be needed to
> get each and every package to work with the new version. Is
> there some alternative? You can't just stick with 2.13
> forever. Software changes and things break. It is a fact
> of life.

Yes, but it is also (IMO) bad manners to break things in critical
components without:
 * Making sure everyone knows that stuff will break.
 * Clearly telling people how to unbreak it.[1]
Not that autoconf is the first program ever to be
non-backwards-compatible, nor will it be the last...

People will eventually move to 2.50, sure. But they may dig their heels
in and keep using 2.13 for a long time.

> It is not that I have a problem with the complaints you
> mentioned. It is just that they do not matter in this context.
> Why would problems with the GNOME packages matter to developers
> of subversion? The subversion project depends on apr,
> the apache web server, neon, expat, berkeley db, and
> python.

I mention the GNOME issue only because it is indicative of the reasons
why autoconf 2.50 is not being rapidly accepted by the community.[2]
And even if the entire subversion dependency tree builds fine w/ 2.50,
requiring it puts a burden on developers[3] who occasionally need to
build things outside of that small set of dependencies.

I'm certainly not trying to flame the autoconf developers, who do
execellent work and have one of the more thankless jobs out there. I'm
just saying that the "take your medicine" approach of adding
AC_PREREQ(2.50) at this time has some costs, and might continue to have
costs for quite a while.


[1] I've looked through the autoconf 2.50 package looking for a "porting
    guide" or something like that, but haven't found anything. If
    something like that is in there and you could tell me where to find
    it, or if you could refer me to a web page or mailing list post or
    something with that kind of info on it, I'd be greatly appreciative.

[2] And for the record, I think that GNOME should move to 2.50. But
    several people have found it's breaks-everything-in-sight qualities
    somewhat distressing, so I don't know when it is going to happen.

[3] When I say "developers", I of course really mean "me". :-)

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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:33 2006

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