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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: Problems releasing 0.10.1 (nslater, back at you!)
Date Sun, 08 Nov 2009 19:09:41 GMT

On 8 Nov 2009, at 18:45, Paul Davis wrote:

> Who in the world actually does this?

Ubuntu, Debian, etc. I'm sure there are many more.

VPATH builds are commonplace where automation is used.

End users don't usually use them, but we target more than just end  

> I would be much less whiney if I all of a sudden found out that we  
> have
> someone being uberawesome and running make distcheck on many many
> platforms and as part of that setup used the VPATH builds.

Forget distcheck, this is broken for check with a VPATH setup.

> Of course its possible. Just check if you have source files in your
> build directory.

I cannot agree to a change that makes the test suite non-functional  
for VPATH builds.

> I don't follow. I'm assuming that not lots of people use VPATH builds.

Yes, I that is an unfounded assumption.

> If there is some hidden build factory out there that's being kind
> enough to build CouchDB on many platforms then I'd be orders of
> magnitude more interested in making this work.

Ubuntu, Debian, etc.

> But the current trend I see is that it breaks distcheck.

Forget distcheck, that is a symptom of check not working for VPATH  

> To me, I'm not seeing the motivation
> to do anything more than run the checks as part of distsign as opposed
> to distcheck.

You're treating the symptoms, and not the cause.

The cause is that our test suite cannot handle VPATH settups.

This is a bug.

> I haven't been convinced that this is a wrong vs. right issue.

We use an Autoconf build system, so we should support VPATH setups.

> There is a lot of extra stuff that goes into VPATH builds and making  
> sure
> they work properly..

> And its just added weight as we accumulate more
> and more testing and build infrastructure. I just haven't been
> convinced that there's a reason we should carry that.

Because we're trying to grow our user base, not shrink it - and that  
means not cutting off deployment scenarios because it was a bit of a  
chore to get it working properly.

This behaviour is not some new crazy feature I dreamt up one night,  
it's a standard, and well understood part of having an Autoconf build  
system - arguably the oldest active, and most popular open source  
build system that exists.

And sure, it's tricky. But packaging is hard, welcome to packaging.

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