--- Comment #10 from Michael Schwendt <mschwendt(a)gmail.com> 2009-01-18 12:49:21
The original rationale for recommending "install -p" and "cp -p" when
installing files manually (inside the spec file e.g.) has been in preserving
timestamps for _prebuilt_ files in tarballs. Such as various forms of
It is considered helpful by many package users, because they can judge about
the age of documentation files simply by checking timestamps. Particularly
helpful with but not limited to larger pdf/ps files and html trees. No need to
revisit such files after package updates, if the documentation is still
unchanged since 2001, for example, and other files are several months old, too.
User would "cd /usr/share/doc/..." and quickly notice that only a README file
has changed for this update.
A few corner-cases have been found where install -p helped, I think related to
.rpmnew creation of config files just because the mtime changed (and not just
the checksum). Perhaps some have been only temporary.
Some reviewers have expanded the recommendation to use "install -p ..." to also
run "make install DESTDIR=$RPM_BUILD_ROOT INSTALL="install -p", which I
is somewhat over the top even if covers a few more prebuilt files. Some
tarballs mix cp/install and mkdir/install, so one would need to switch to "cp
-p" for the full show.
So, conclusively: Historically it has only been pedantic eye-candy (albeit
considered helpful by our users). If nowadays there is knowledge that it
actually fixes anything else, please document that.
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