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Re: Mass bug filing for the removal of freetype-config and freetype.m4

Hi Simon,

On Friday, 2 February 2018 11:14 PM, Simon McVittie wrote:
> On Thu, 01 Feb 2018 at 11:07:42 +0000, Hugh McMaster wrote:
>> Freetype-config has been considered deprecated for several years [1].
> By us, or by upstream?

Both. We considered freetype-config a deprecated legacy interface back in 2011 [1].
Upstream also recommend using pkg-config over freetype-config in freetype-config(1).
In fact, freetype-config has used pkg-config as a wrapper since February 2017 [2].

> Is there a reason to prefer removing AC_CHECK_FT2, rather than patching
> it to provide enough of its historical functionality for (I'd guess) 90%
> of packages? Something like this should work (untested):
>  [
>    PKG_CHECK_MODULES([FT2], [freetype2 >= $1], [$2], m4_if([$3], [], [:], [$3]))
>  ])
> (This doesn't do the sanity-checks that current AC_CHECK_FT2 does,
> and it respects PKG_CONFIG_PATH instead of --with-ft-prefix,
> --with-ft-exec-prefix and FT_CONFIG, but this shouldn't matter most of
> the time; and it seems better if simple packages still compile than if
> they don't.)

codesearch.debian.net shows 26 packages referencing AC_CHECK_FT2.

> Does Freetype's upstream developer consider AC_CHECK_FT2 to be deprecated
> too?
Not as far as I can tell. That said, I'm not against patching the m4 macro to
use PKG_CHECK_MODULES if you believe it will be useful.

> If we ask the upstream developers of various packages to make a change
> because otherwise their package won't compile on Debian, some of them
> will say "well, that's Debian's fault for removing APIs provided by
> Freetype's upstream developer" and do nothing. If we ask them to make a
> change because Freetype upstream has officially deprecated the macro/tool
> they're using, or because otherwise their package (eventually) won't
> compile against newer upstream Freetype releases, it seems more likely
> to happen.
> Not carrying long-term patches to the build systems of a large number of
> packages seems a good goal.

Good point. I'll file a bug upstream to ask them to drop freetype-config.
In the meantime, I'll do the mass bug filing for Debian.

[1] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=642354#10
[2] http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/freetype/freetype2.git/commit/builds/unix/freetype-config.in?id=1c513fbb8872bfac5631964963b6a751169a1ce6