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GNU gnulib: calling for beta-testers

Item posted by Bruno Haible <haible> on Sun 21 Apr 2024 10:47:35 AM UTC.

If you are developer on a package that uses GNU gnulib as part of its build system:

gnulib-tool has been known for being slow for many years. We have listened to your complaints. A rewrite of gnulib-tool in another programming language (Python) is ready for beta-testing. It is between 8 times and 100 times faster than the original gnulib-tool.

Both implementations should behave identically, that is, produce the same generated files and the same output. You can help us ensure this, through the following steps:

1. Make sure you have Python (version 3.7 or newer) installed on your machine.

2. Update your gnulib checkout. (For some packages, it comes as a git submodule named 'gnulib'.) Like this:

  $ git checkout master
  $ git pull

     Set the environment variable GNULIB_SRCDIR, pointing to this checkout.

     If the package is using a git submodule named 'gnulib', it is also advisable to do

  $ git commit -m 'build: Update gnulib submodule to latest.' gnulib

     (as a preparation for step 5, because the --no-git option does not work as expected in all variants of 'bootstrap').

3. Set an environment variable that enables checking that the two implementations behave the same:

  $ export GNULIB_TOOL_IMPL=sh+py

4. Clean the built files of your package:

  $ make -k distclean

5. Regenerate the fetched and generated files of your package. Depending on the package, this may be a command such as

  $ ./bootstrap --no-git --gnulib-srcdir=$GNULIB_SRCDIR


  $ export GNULIB_SRCDIR; ./; ./

     or, if no such script is available:

  $ $GNULIB_SRCDIR/gnulib-tool --update

     If there is a failure, due to differences between the 'sh' and 'py' results, please report it to <>.

6. If this invocation was successful, you can trust the rewritten gnulib-tool and use it from now on, by setting the environment variable

  $ export GNULIB_TOOL_IMPL=py

7. Continue with

  $ ./configure
  $ make

     as usual.

And enjoy the speed! The rewritten gnulib-tool was implemented by Dmitry Selyutin, Collin Funk, and me.

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