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Re: Linux-kernel style output

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Linux-kernel style output
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 11:11:45 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.12 (2006-08-10)

Hello Tommie,

* Tommie Gannert wrote on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 at 10:45:21AM CEST:
> I've been diving into Automake to try and make it less noisy. My solution
> is a patch which adds --enable-pretty-commands to configure. Hopefully, the
> standard behavior is the same as before. I haven't tested it all fully yet,
> just tried it against the Heimdal package, and it seemed to work.

I haven't looked at the patch in detail, but I like the fact that it
does not enlarge the resulting by much.  Some of the other
proposals caused more lines in lib/am/, which, for some
packages, makes for noticeably increased tarballs.  So this could be
acceptable even for developers that otherwise do not want the "pretty"

Another good point is that the pretty output is not enabled by default.
This is more important that may be obvious at first:  From a developer
standpoint, most bug reports are by rather inexperienced users that use
the default way of compilation.  Teaching them to also first recompile
verbosely so that they can provide the command that caused the error
is a burden.

Some quick comments to the patch:
- If you wrote m4/prettycmds.m4 from anew, its copyright years should
  contain only 2006; otherwise, it should contain 2006 added.
  If you want to get this accepted into GNU Automake, you will have to
  assign your copyright to the FSF (details off-list); otherwise the
  copyright statement in that file is obviously wrong, as you are not
  the FSF.
- Some other files need copyright year updates for the changes as well.
  All of this (and much more) is explained in the HACKING file that's
  part of the CVS tree (and files referenced therein).
- For getting this accepted, it would be helpful to have a patch against
  the CVS HEAD version (it's almost certain Alexandre won't put this in
- Have you tried the test suite with the patch?  Are you willing to add
  new tests that expose the new functionality and make sure it works
  everywhere (and continues to work)?
- NEWS needs an update, and it needs a ChangeLog entry.

The more you're able to do, the easier it will be to get this accepted
into Automake-1.10.  FWIW, I'm not to decide whether or not it should be
accepted, but given above things are addressed, I'm in favor of it, and
willing to test it eventually and go over some details.  I think this is
by far the nicest approach I've seen so far for it.

Cheers, and thanks for your work,

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