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Re: bug#18286: distcheck fails to detect missing files

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: bug#18286: distcheck fails to detect missing files
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:30:33 +0100


On 08/18/2014 02:30 AM, Peter Johansson wrote:

I have this snippet in my ''

include am/

$(srcdir)/am/ $(srcdir)/test/data.txt $(srcdir)/am/
     cd $(srcdir) && $(SHELL) bootstrap am/

It first includes (at Automake time) a snippet, which is generated while 
bootstrapping. Now I forgot to include $(srcdir)/test/data.txt 
$(srcdir)/am/ in the distball, which caused the embarrassing

make: *** No rule to make target `am/', needed by 
`am/'.  Stop.

The surprising thing is that distcheck does not detect this problem,
> but 'make distcheck' passes through without problem.
This issue has been reported already in the past:

(BTW, sorry Nicola for missing your report and your fix
for so long!)

The reason for
> this is probably because while $(srcdir)/test/data.txt does not exist,
> make also looks in $(srcdir)/$(srcdir)/test/data.txt and that file exists
> as it is part of my development directory. If I change my to

$(srcdir)/am/ test/data.txt am/
     cd $(srcdir) && $(SHELL) bootstrap am/

'make distcheck' will detect the problem, but I have this habit of type
> $(srcdir) for things that are supposed to be in $(srcdir). Is that a bad
> habit?

It can sometimes lead to strange interactions, if not used consistently;
and follow-up messages.

But the issue you are experiencing is not due to that, but rather
to a bug/limitation of the current 'distcheck' implementation.

A fix could be to let distcheck not work in $(distdir) but instead create
> 'tmp_/$(distdir)', builddir 'tmp_/$(distdir)/build_', and installdir
> 'tmp_/$(distdir)/inst_' which would hide the development files from the
> distcheck.
What do you think?

Seems like a viable plan.  In such a setup, relatively to $(builddir),
$(srcdir) will be '..', while the "developement" copy of the source
tree will be in '../..'; so the incomplete tarball should be diagnosed.

Definitely a nice fix to have for Automake 1.15...  Let's see if I can
make it happen.

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