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

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: [PATCH] dist: add new "pure-dist" automake option
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2021 16:16:58 -0700

On Sun, Jul 4, 2021 at 2:19 PM Karl Berry <> wrote:
>      - 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
> here.
> 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

Thanks to both of you.
Let's go with dist-no-built-sources for the reasons Karl gave.
Once the patch is fixed to reference the new tests from
t/, I saw only two other nits:
- the copyright date in a new file should include only the current year
- the test description should be updated (from copied file) to refer
to the new test, e.g.,
  # Ensure "dist-no-built-sources" option works as advertised.

Switching names means references to "impure" are no longer
appropriate, of course.

In incidentally-related news, I found that make check now hangs on
tests-environment-fd-redirect on Fedora 34, so I'm investigating that.

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