taskGNU Astronomy Utilities - Tasks: task #13993, Keeping up to date with Gnulib and...


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task #13993: Keeping up to date with Gnulib and Autoconf archives

Submitter:  Mohammad Akhlaghi <makhlaghi>
Submitted:  Sun 08 May 2016 05:29:40 AM UTC
Should Start On:  Sat 07 May 2016 03:00:00 PM UTC Should be Finished on:  Sat 07 May 2016 03:00:00 PM UTC
Category:  Development Priority:  5 - Normal
Item Group:  Enhancement Status:  In Progress
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Percent Complete:  0% Open/Closed:  Open
Effort:  0.00

Sun 08 May 2016 05:29:40 AM UTC, original submission:  

The Gnulib and Autoconf archives (which are used during Gnuastro's bootstrapping) are regularly updated. Not all updates are necessarily significant for Gnuastro. However, when you are updating your local copy of Gnulib, if you do notice a relevant update, please post it here if it has not already been mentioned.

Later, we will have to find a good way to only use a specific commit of Gnulib during bootstrapping, so all developers are using the same Gnulib snapshot. Gnulib suggests using Git's submodules, which is also implemented in ./bootstrap, see


However, from what I understand of Git's submodules, I don't feel too comfortable requiring Gnuastro developers to have a whole copy of the Gnulib history (only for Gnuastro) in their Gnuastro directories. It would be much more useful if a way could be found for people to keep a local copy of Gnulib for all their development activities insteading of having a clone for each project, when they have multiple projects using Gnulib for example.

A raw (for now only as a discussion, in hope of finding better solutions) solution that comes to my mind is this:

The ./bootstrap developers add a hook (maybe called bootstrap_pre_import_hook) that we can define in bootstrap.conf (something like bootstrap_post_import_hook). Using this hook, we can checkout a specific commit in Gnulib's history before gnulib-tool is called and everything is imported. Afterwards (in bootstrap_post_import_hook) we can checkout Gnulib's master branch to put it back to its initial state. In this way, a developer that uses Gnulib for multiple projects just has to make sure that they don't run two bootstrappings together!

If no better solution can be found, we can get in touch with the Gnulib developers to see if they can add this hook to the bootstrap script and use it.

But until then, lets use this task to track all the relevant changes in Gnulib for Gnuastro, so Gnuastro developers can check this page to see if they need to update their local Gnulib, or Autoconf archives clones. This webpage will be included in the documentation, for easy access until we find a solution.

Mohammad Akhlaghi <makhlaghi>
Group administrator


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