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Re: [PATCH] dist: add new "pure-dist" automake option

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: [PATCH] dist: add new "pure-dist" automake option
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2021 15:19:31 -0600

     - I used the word "pure" in the sense of a pure function, 

Yes, I realized.

My thought was that, suppose some other similar change is needed in the
future that changes what gets automatically distributed, or
prerequisites, or whatever. However, we would not want to change the
effect of "pure-dist", because of compatibility, even if theoretically
this hypothetical change was also about "purity". Then the name would
become more confusing than helpful.

Therefore it seems better to me to describe what the option actually
does (dist-no-built-sources) than to come up with a general name,
even though it is (granted) prettier.

static-dist isn't any different in that regard. I like pure-dist better
than static-dist, of the two.

I hear you about long option names, but ... I don't see a perfect answer

By the way, looking at the current list of AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS, I think the
name should definitely start with "dist-", whatever else.
    - My actual preference would be to have this be the default option.
    Might we have a path some day to a place where this is true,
    possibly after a transition period?

Well, the decision is Jim's, as the primary maintainer. IMHO, retaining
compatibility is more important than relatively minor behavior
improvements when it comes to behavior of long-established programs like
Automake. If the BUILT_SOURCES dependency had only started a year or two
ago, maybe, but it's a lot older than that.

Changing the default, at behavior any time, will inevitably induce
significant hassle for maintainers of packages which depend, possibly
unknowingly, on the current behavior. Having been that maintainer (on
the receiving end) more times than I count for such gratuitous behavior
"improvements", I prefer not to inflict it myself.

     - I made a mistake: I added the tests, but I forgot to add them to the
    list of tests.  

I'll add it, no problem there. Thanks for the heads-up. -k

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