[Libreoffice] dev300 merge thoughts / some lessons ...

Bjoern Michaelsen bjoern.michaelsen at canonical.com
Fri Mar 18 21:36:02 PDT 2011

Hi Francois,

On Fri, 18 Mar 2011 23:17:34 +0100
Francois Tigeot <ftigeot at wolfpond.org> wrote:

> $ ./autogen.sh [blah]
> [...]
> checking for cp... /bin/cp
> checking whether /bin/cp is GNU cp from coreutils with preserve=
> support... configure: error: no, GNU cp needed. install or specify
> with --with-gnu-cp=/path/to/it

As the guy who changed that (back when I was still at Oracle): No, this
didnt introduce a new dependency on GNU cp -- it always was there.
There was a variable GNUCOPY in the old build system which everyone
expected to be GNU cp. The funny thing is: the build system would still
fall back to any cp it will find in most cases. Thus you could end up
with some POSIX cp in the variable GNUCOPY leading to very interesting
effects. My changes to configure.in corrected this and made it explicit.

This is for the old build system only, which happily accepted any cp
command and assumed it to be GNU cp, even if configure concluded it NOT
to be a GNU cp. That was clearly a bug.

That being said, the new build system does _not_ require a GNU cp. But
it requires the variable GNUCOPY to be indeed a (halfway recent) GNU cp
if it is set. If it is not set, it will fall back to a (slower) POSIX
rm/cp/touch combo.

Once we get rid of the old build system we dont need to require GNU cp
-- its optional and POSIX commands would be used as a fallback.

Best Regards,


P.S.: Also note that the old build system did not always require GNU
cp. For example on OSX it did not (and configure should not complain


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