[asterisk-dev] Removing configure from tree

Dennis Buteyn dennis.buteyn at xorcom.com
Thu May 4 06:03:10 CDT 2023

On 5/4/23 12:59, Joshua C. Colp wrote:
> I'm not sure what build-environment specific parameters you are 
> referring to, unless you mean the version of autoconf on the system. 
> The issue Sean saw was that if developers generated the configure 
> using different autoconf versions, the output would be different and 
> could result in large reviews. From an actual non-developer people who 
> use Asterisk perspective, to the best of my knowledge we've never seen 
> any issues with either the checked in configure. The logic certainly, 
> but that's not the result of the process of producing the configure 
> script but the backing autoconf logic that was written by someone.

Every build environment is different so configure will be different too. 
The fact that these differences are appearing in reviews pretty much 
proves it.

There is also the possibility of configure being stale which is avoided 
entirely when it does not exist.

> As for Makefiles, the Asterisk ones are not generated. They're written 
> manually. Are you also proposing changing the build system so those 
> are now generated?
> That's a fundamentally breaking change if tags and releases do not 
> contain a configure already. The benefit would need to be large enough 
> to justify it. What additional benefits are there?
Apologies, I failed to notice Asterisk lacking Makefile.am. If configure 
is to be generated from configure.ac, it would make sense to generate 
Makefile from Makefile.am too. It is not a hard requirement.

I didn't say to remove configure from releases (tarballs), I merely 
suggested to have identical build instructions. Users can run the 
provide configure if they want or generate their own copy, whichever 
they prefer.

Instructions can state to generate configure if/when not present. 
Honestly it doesn't really matter whether configure is re-generated as 
it should work regardless. It just means the same instructions can be 
used for all builds, simplifying documentation and requiring less to 

> Some users do get tags from git, instead of downloading the tarball. I 
> don't think changing that is really worth it. Adding generation of 
> configure to the release process is minor.

The only time I download a tarball for anything is when no alternative 
exists. It is less work to pull the latest changes than downloading a 
fresh tarball, extracting, etc. And even when using a tarball I will 
re-generate configure, Makefile, etc just to be sure the build won't 
fail for some vague reason that requires hours of debugging.

Dennis Buteyn
Xorcom Ltd
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