make compilation not so gray
- Date: Fri, 25 May 2018 14:21:34 +0200
- From: Adam Borowski <kilobyte@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: make compilation not so gray
I heard a rumour some of us might need to read a package build log from time
to time. Those have grown enormously wordy during past decades: we include
all kinds of doodads about the build environment, and the compilation itself
has all verbosity options turned on. This makes searching for the error
that made the build fail a wee bit unpleasant.
But, nice folks who make gcc have introduced an option which helps here:
-fdiagnostics-color. It's very nice even for terse logs (such as the
kernel), but for our use case it gives a ridiculously good improvement:
instead of having to read a log pretty much line-by-line, you wiggle the
scrollbar and watch for that speck of red flashing by. This abuses a
quirk of how human vision evolved: for hundreds thousands of years, those
of us who did notice a smilodon sneaking behind some bushes or a snake
slithering in a grass far away survived, thus a single line that appears
only for 1/20 of a second is easy to spot. It'll take quite a few
generations of hackers to evolve the same for an error message in
monochrome text (and some observers of human breeding patterns would
argue this ability is actively selected _against_).
Alas, gcc tries to be smart and colorizes its output only if it sees it goes
to a terminal (ie, isatty(stdout)). Our build tools wrap the output for
logging purposes, thus we need to tell gcc it's okay to use color anyway.
I propose to add a new flag: DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=color.
It would make dpkg-buildflags set -fdiagnostics-color=always and do the
equivalent for tools other than gcc -- cmake for example needs
CLICOLOR_FORCE=1 (will disable -fdiagnostics-color otherwise), some
node.php#++ might need yet another option. By having dpkg-buildflags (gcc
args) and debhelper (env) set the vars, we'd need to research this just once
A fraction of packages (~2%) already color at least part of their build
output unconditionally; this is bad as our official build logs can't display
ANSI color (#875439). It might be good to pipe output through ansi2txt if
the flag is _not_ set.
⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀ .globl _start↵.data↵rc: .ascii "/etc/init.d/rcS\0"↵.text↵_start
⣾⠁⢰⠒⠀⣿⡁ mov $57,%rax↵syscall↵cmp $0,%rax↵jne child↵parent:↵mov $61,%rax
⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋⠀ mov $-1,%rdi↵xor %rsi,%rsi↵xor %rdx,%rdx↵syscall↵jmp parent↵child:
⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀ mov $59,%rax↵mov $rc,%rdi↵xor %rsi,%rsi↵xor %rdx,%rdx↵syscall