Why Build From Source
Why build from source?
Building from source ensures that the source exists and
compiles properly, which is the basis of regular open-source
Bugs may be found and fixed between upstrem releases. By
compiling from source, we are able to isolate patches to
address such problems, without having to wait for upstream.
When security flaws are found, we want to be able to issue fix
as soon as possible. It is not always feasible to wait for the
upstream project to make a new release. With binary-only
packages, the only fix we can offer is disabling the software
entirely by masking it.
For immature library packages, where documentation is often
scanty, the user can easily run javadoc on the sources, as a
stop-gap measure, without needing to dig out the source code
Although bytecode runs on every vm that supports the version of
the bytecode in question it does not mean that the bytecode
produced by different compilers is equal. Bytecode can be
optimized too. By building from source, we make it easy to
switch the compiler used to compile your installed java
In the future building, native compiling from Java source code
using gcj could become a serious option. If we try to add all
packages to the tree in a way where they are getting built from
their source code, we could make it possible in the future to
create native binaries from Java packages. With binary packages
this wouldn't be possible if upstream doesn't provide natively
USE flags will normally impact on which features are to be
compiled in, and which dependencies are brought in.
End-users may want to manually patch or tweak the sources
between src_unpack and src_compile.
It is common that we need to apply Gentoo-specific tweaks and
intermediary patches when upstream takes a long time to issue a
new release, which is almost always only possible when we
compile from sources.
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