Bug#552638: (package vdr) debian-rules-not-a-makefile

Sven Mueller debian at incase.de
Thu Nov 5 23:55:15 UTC 2009

> Package: vdr
> Version: 1.6.0-12
> Severity: serious
> 4.9 Main building script: debian/rules
> This file must be an executable makefile, and contains the
> package-specific recipes for compiling the package and building binary
> package(s) from the source.
> It must start with the line #!/usr/bin/make -f, so that it can be
> invoked by saying its name rather than invoking make explicitly. 

Hmm, this is odd.
1) In fact, debian/rules in the vdr package _is_ a Makefile.
2) It does not call make directly from the shebang-line to allow for
   some special version of the package to be easily built
3) The shell script called from the debian/rules shebang line does
   actually just call make with the specified targets on debian/rules
   if I understand it correctly.
4) if you _do_ call "make -f debian/rules binary", it does exactly what
   you would expect.

In the end, I think that debian/rules should be changed so that it can,
itself, build the special vdr variant (most importantly the vdr-devel
and associated plugin packages).

So except for the clause: 'it must start with the line "#!/usr/bin/make
-f"', the vdr package fulfills all requirements of policy 4.9

And in my humble opinion, that requirement is unneeded and unnecessarily
 causes the vdr package to fail the policy requirements.

It would be wiser in my opinion to change that requirement to:

- debian/rules must be executable with a shebang line that allows
  directly calling it with the targets wanted.
- debian/rules must be a makefile, so that
  "make -f debian/rules <target>" builds the target specified as in
  the list given below (in §4.9 Debian Policy Manual)

Kind regards,

PS: I'm not a maintainer of the vdr package or any associated plugins
package, but just a random DD that happens to use VDR (though not the
Debian version). I only happened to stumble over this bug because of the
list ftpmaster provided of packages failing certain lintian tests.

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