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subversion configure defaults -- please disable --with-apache and --with-apxs by default!

From: Stuart Levy <slevy_at_ncsa.uiuc.edu>
Date: 2007-05-02 19:58:19 CEST

Hello subversion developers,

I recently installed subversion-1.4.3 in the routine way suggested
in its installation documentation -- build the dependent libraries,
configure with them, make, make install.

I expected that it would only change things beneath the prefix directory.

However, even though I didn't care about or specify any
apache-specific options, they were set by default. So
"make install" installed a bunch of things under $prefix as expected,
but *also* invoked apxs to add two svn-related Apache modules
to the running system's web server configuration, which I didn't

This showed up the next time the server was restarted, some
while later, when ... the server mysteriously wouldn't run because
the newly added modules were incompatible with it. This was
harder to diagnose than it might have been, since the
incompatibility simply made the server crash, rather than
giving a reportable error.

I'm not asking about the incompatibility -- the svn apache modules
aren't needed in our environment.

But, please, please, I'd like to suggest that neither "--with-apache"
nor "--with-apxs" be enabled by default. This should ensure that ...

   - the default "install" only changes things under $prefix,
        as is true for most packages -- following the principle
        of least surprise

   - unprivileged users can install local copies of subversion
        without having to understand dependencies outside of $prefix.

   - if a (privileged) user doesn't explicitly ask for the
        apache configuration to be altered,
        it will remain unchanged (and un-potentially-broken)


   Stuart Levy

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Received on Sat May 5 17:33:25 2007

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