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Install and INSTALL issues

From: Andrew McClure <andrew.mcclure_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 16:03:21 -0700

Hello, today I installed subversion 1.7.0 (off the website, but with
the os x patch applied) on my mac. It is now installed and working
fine, however there were a few problems I noticed during this process.
I talked to "danielsh" on the irc channel, he submitted a patch for
one of the problems I encountered and suggested I email this address
with my other issues.

1. I immediately was stymied because I was following the "Building
from a Tarball" instructions in the INSTALL file. These instructions
tell you to do the standard ./configure;make;make install. However, I
had accidentally downloaded the .zip file instead of the .tar.gz file.
Apparently, the .zip distribution on the website is intended for
Windows users and therefore omits the "configure" file. Although this
makes some sense, mac users might sometimes tend to click the .zip
despite really wanting the tarball because .zip is a bit more common
on os x. (In my case I clicked zip because I knew Safari would
automatically unzip the zip for me, but I wasn't sure if it knew how
to untar-- in fact, it doesn't know how to untar. I thought I was
saving four or five seconds.)

Anyway this is a problem as I see it in that the .zip and the .tar.gz
contain in fact different files, but are presented on
http://subversion.apache.org/download/ as if they are identical. At a
minimum if you don't want to change the website, you could make it
more explicit in the INSTALL file that this is the arrangement ("If
configure is not found, you probably downloaded the zip by accident.")

2. The INSTALL file contains these absolutely terrifying three lines:

  B. Mac OS X
      --------

      [TBD: Describe BDB 4.0.x problem]

I checked, and this "TBD" has been present in this file since *2003*.
I don't understand what the BDB 4.0.x problem is, but if it's gone
unfixed since 2003 maybe it is harmless enough you can just remove the
TBD. Certainly I think you should either expand this or remove it
completely.

Danielsh made the point that this entire section iv-- the "platform
specific issues"-- probably would be more appropriate in your FAQ at
this point. I wouldn't know about that.

3. This one's a little more fiddly. When I did my configure and
install, I did a ./configure --prefix=/some/nonstandard/path because I
did not want to replace the system svn and instead wanted to install a
local copy of svn for just my user. For this same reason, I did not
make install as root. However, when I did the make install, I got a
series of alarming looking error messages stating that it was trying
to install something or other into the /usr/apache2 (or whatever)
directories but couldn't. From talking to danielsh it appears that
this is just about installing the apache modules (which I don't think
I wanted anyway) and that I should have configured with the
--with-apache-libexecdir option. I think maybe you should consider one
of the following.

- Add a note to INSTALL (there is already an explanation in
./configure --help) clarifying the use of --with-apache-libexecdir /
--without-apache-libexecdir. (I'm not sure if I for one would have
noticed this however because the INSTALL file is long.)
- (My suggestion) Set ./configure such that if you --prefix but do not
issue an apache-libexecdir, it prints a warning letting you know that
if you are --prefixing you are also likely to want one of the
apache-libexecdir commands.
- Have make install detect when it successfully installed the svn
executable but failed to install the apache modules, and print a
message saying something like "don't panic, svn is installed but the
apache modules are not, your installation will still work" and maybe
explaining the libexec configure option.

What I would consider to be the "problem" here is that I got all these
error messages during install, the error messages were actually
benign, but not knowing what they meant I was not sure if it was safe
to go ahead and use the newly installed copy of Subversion.

Thanks!
Received on 2011-10-12 04:39:23 CEST

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