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Re: bootstrap/autogen.sh and git submodules

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: bootstrap/autogen.sh and git submodules
Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2019 22:50:40 +0100
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Hi Gary,

> ... entirely sufficient for:
> 1. running on a freshly cloned working copy to set everything up ready for 
> ./configure && make
> 2. rebootstrapping after updating submodules

Yes, it is sufficient for the "simple" cases.

What the current bootstrap is not good at:

  * Keeping the developer in control of git. When I am a developer, I may
    want to control precisely which version of the submodule I want to
    use. For example, if I am about to make a release, I may want to
    pull some but not all recent commits from the submodule. Or I may want
    to try changes that are not yet committed.

    As the maintainer of a package I may want to run all git commands by
    myself (and remember what I've done), rather than have some script do it
    for me.

  * Hiding the 'git submodule' complexity from the developer. Everyone
    is familiar with the basic commands of git. But 'git submodule' is a
    different set of commands with a different philosophy. And its own
    set of pitfalls [1].

You may say that these two goals are incompatible. I disagree.

  - To fulfil the first goal, it is sufficient to move all git operations
    to a separate script.
  - To fulfil the second goal is an art. But just like 'gnupload' allows me
    to forget how to invoke 'gpg', why would that separate script now allow
    to forget me how to invoke 'git submodule'?



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