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On Jan 6, 2023, at 2:24 PM, Denis Ovsienko <de...@ovsienko.info> wrote:

> On Fri, 6 Jan 2023 13:25:14 -0800
> Guy Harris <ghar...@sonic.net> wrote:
>> If we switch to making Debian Autoconf the new standard and keeping
>> the generated configure script in the repository, would that mean
>> that developers working from the repository would either have to
>> install Debian Autoconf or use "git add -p" instead of "git add"?
> Yes.  Right now it is the other way around (contributors that use
> Debian or its derivatives have to filter their output).  So perhaps
> this switch would not be convenient for macOS and FreeBSD users.

If we go that way, we should document it when addressing developers.

Is there a place where people can download a tarball for Debian autoconf and 
just do ./configure, make, and make install, or will they have to download the 
Debian package and apply the patches?  If the latter, we should, at minimum, 
give documentation on how to do that - or we could just do that ourselves and 
have a "Debian autoconf" source tarball to download.

An alternative would be *not* to keep the generated configure script in the 
repository (that's what Wireshark ended up doing before it ceased to use 
autoconf/automake), and generate it as part of the release-build process, which 
we would do on a machine on which Debian autoconf was installed.

That requires that developers have autoconf installed if they're not going to 
be using CMake, but there are already tools they need installed (a C compiler, 
make, Flex, Bison/Berkeley YACC, ...) so I don't see that as a problem.

It also means that configure.ac and aclocal.m4 would have to work with various 
sufficiently-recent versions of autoconf.

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