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Re: RFC: ./configure or ./config.status --clean

From: Eric Siegerman
Subject: Re: RFC: ./configure or ./config.status --clean
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 16:01:17 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Tue, Apr 02, 2002 at 06:57:05PM +0200, Akim Demaille wrote:
> [...] would it be grave that this subdir distclean
> triggers the top level's distclean.

It would be grave indeed:
  - Principle of least surprise:  I for one would be *very*
    surprised if "make distclean" in a subdirectory started
    deleting stuff outside that tree.  I would be much less
    surprised if it did nothing, especially if it printed a
    nice message in the process:
        `distclean' is not supported in subdirectories.  Please type:
                cd ../../..; make distclean

  - Level of damage:  Suppose I type "make distclean" in a
    low-level subdirectory of a package that takes a couple of
    hours to build.  Suddenly I have a full rebuild on my hands,
    as opposed to going to the top level and typing
    "config.status", and perhaps having to wait for each Makefile
    to redundantly regenerate itself (*if* that's still happening,
    it's a pet peeve for another thread :-)

> I'm
> interested in the Autoconf feature, and therefore, I don't care much
> of what the Makefile itself does.

I'm not sure it's possible to think of them in isolation.  After
all, what's being discussed is probably the thorniest point of
interface between Autoconf and the build system (whether the
latter is Automake-generated or not) -- which is why the status
quo needs work in the first place...

> Paul> If "rm Makefile" is the the last thing that "make distclean"
> Paul> does, then this alternate proposal is more robust than the
> Paul> method you proposed.  That is because "rm Makefile" is atomic.
> Paul> So it wouldn't matter when you interrupted the "make distclean";
> Paul> if there was more work to do, another "make distclean" would
> Paul> still do it.
> IIUC, you're saying config.status --clean should end with the top
> level.  I agree.

And, if asked to clean a subdirectory, should clean that
subdirectory's Makefile last.


|  | /\
|-_|/  >   Eric Siegerman, Toronto, Ont.        address@hidden
|  |  /
"Outlook not so good."  That magic 8-ball knows everything!
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