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Re: Proposed stable release of GNU findutils: opinions?

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: Proposed stable release of GNU findutils: opinions?
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 10:50:05 -0800

On Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 9:45 AM, James Youngman <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 20, 2015 at 5:30 PM, Andreas Metzler <address@hidden> wrote:
>> On 2015-12-18 James Youngman <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> I'm considering making a stable release (i.e. 4.6.0) of GNU findutils
>>> in the next few days, essentially identical to the recent 4.5.15
>>> release, with a version number change.
>>> What are your thoughts on this?   Clearly there are a number of open
>>> bug reports on the bug tracker.  However, many bug-fixes have occurred
>>> across the 4.5.x series, and so perhaps the benefit of the bug fixes
>>> in the proposed 4.6.0 release outweighs the downside of making a
>>> stable release with known bugs.
>>> What do you think?   If you don't think we should make a stable
>>> release without addressing one of the bugs in the bug tracker, would
>>> you like to volunteer to work on the issue you identified?
>> Hello,
>> the status quo, with a very old stable release and a slowly moving
>> unstable one clearly does not work.
> This is, I agree, the outcome.  But it is not the plan.   There are
> constraints on my time, and I don't get to spend nearly as much time
> on findutils as I would like.  I believe that with contribution from
> more volunteers - and by this I mean people making the needed source,
> test and documentation changes[1] - we could go faster.
>> A number of Linux distros (e.g. Opensuse and Fedora) have already
>> moved to 4.5.x. We at Debian are still at 4.4.
>> I would consider the outdated gnulib in 4.5.15 a release-blocker, it
>> fails with perl 5.22 and I guess the build-error on ppc64el
>> https://buildd.debian.org/status/logs.php?pkg=findutils&ver=4.5.15-1&arch=ppc64el
>> is also gnulib related.
> This should be fixed by the release of findutils-4.5.16, which
> happened a few minutes ago.
> That was previously blocked by the fact that I wasn't able to
> successfully import and build that version of gnulib.   The problem
> turned out to be that that version of gnulib was incompatible with
> gettext version 0.18.x, which was what I was using.   But the error
> messages didn't make this clear.
> I had asked for help on that a couple of times, without getting any.
> So the problem was only resolved after my development system's
> distribution (Debian, fwiw) moved to gettext 0.19.

Hi James,

Thank you for taking the time to make a new findutils release.

I encourage all maintainers of packages using autotools, and
especially those who maintain packages that rely on gnulib, to develop
with the very latest versions of some key tools. The same applies to
anyone (often contributors) building from git-cloned source trees of
those projects, so I wrote a script to make it easy for people to
build/install those very latest tools on their development systems,
for when the distribution they are using happens to lag. Just run this
script from coreutils, and it will download the latest tarballs, check
gpg signatures (when possible), build and install the required set of


You may want to take the advice it gives via its --help output.

While I still have an important system running debian unstable, I find
that its tools are generally too far behind what I require and they
cause problems like you encountered. I prefer to use the latest Fedora
(or even rawhide, if you dare) on my primary development system.

Happy holidays,

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