autoreconf advice

Chow Loong Jin hyperair at
Fri Dec 3 22:08:03 GMT 2010

On Saturday 04,December,2010 06:02 AM, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> I've been working on fixing an ftbfs for graphviz on natty:
> The fundamental problem is that there are some hard-coded assumptions about
> what Python versions are available, and those only go up to Python 2.6 (and
> only to Python 2.5 in some file).  While tedious and time consuming to track
> down, I did manage to find all those spots and add Python 2.7 support.  This
> *should* only touch
>     debian/libgv-python.install
>     tcklpkg/
>     tclpkg/gv/
> but of course the various autobuild artifacts need updating as well.  At first
> I took a minimalist approach, running autoconf and automake manually, but then
> I got failures because of aclocal.m4/libtool version mismatches.  I tried
> regenerating just aclocal.m4 and libltdl/aclocal.m4 but could not completely
> eliminate the libtool errors.  The build complained that libtool was at 2.2.6b
> (the version in maverick, my development machine, and natty, my schroots), but
> that aclocal.m4 wanted 2.2.6, even though I'd regenerated both aclocal.m4
> files I could find.
> So I bit the bullet and ran autoreconf.  I'd avoided it earlier because it
> touches about 100 files and I know how insane it is to try to review diffs
> that modify a ton of generated files.  Note however that all these generated
> files are in the source package (and under bzr version control in the source
> branches).
> The good news is that with my changes and an autoreconf, the package builds.
> So I'm looking for recommendations as to the best (or maybe least horrible)
> way of dealing with this.  Do I just close my eyes, stick my fingers in my
> ears and submit changes with the autoreconf regenerated files?
> When I submit the patches upstream, I'll likely narrow it down to just the .ac
> and .am file changes (and the .install change to Debian).  Then upstream can
> do whatever autoreconf they want.  But for now, how should this be handled in
> Ubuntu and Debian?

These days there's dh --with=autoreconf, and for CDBS users,
/usr/share/cdbs/1/rules/, which handle all the autoreconf stuff and
cleanup after without needing to commit a huge autoreconf patch into debian/patches.

Just build-depend on dh-autoreconf, and add the required stuff to debian/rules
and you should be done.

Kind regards,
Loong Jin

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