build instructions are lacking

Asked by step21

Because of thinking about working on it, I tried to build from master. Based on 'HACKING', it should be enough to run 'make' if ninja/meson is installed. First this complains about not finding 'builddir'. Ok, let's make that. Then it complains about not finding '' so apparently some other stuff is needed, despite what 'HACKING' is saying. Some additional instructions would be great, especially as I haven't used ninja/meson anywhere before.

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Déjà Dup Edit question
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step21 (step22) said :

Also: Is there still a branch that I could use to develop on Ubuntu 16.04.3 with gtk+-3.18.9? What are you developing on? Would not really want to upgrade the whole system just for deja-dup dev...

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Vej (vej) said :

Hello step21!

Did you used JHBuild (see to configure for Déjà Dup (see

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step21 (step22) said :

Hi Vej, thanks for responding. No, like I said I got the source directly and in the 'HACKING' file (and on the page you linked as an alternative) it says that just running 'make' should suffice. And I just checked deja-dup files, not general gnome instructions.
After upgrading meson and ninja, I was able to run meson manually, however if you look to my follow up question, it complained about the wrong gtk version. As I do not really want to upgrade my system, I'll see if I can use the 'unsupported' instructions or whatever.

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Michael Terry (mterry) said :

Hello and welcome, step21!

git master should now be a bit better when running 'make' twice after a meson failure. It now will try a second time rather than just bailing. Thanks for the heads up on that.

But yes, we recently started requiring a very new gtk. You'll probably want to use jhbuild to get a fresh build environment that won't mess up your system.

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step21 (step22) said :

Good to know, thanks.
Though I am afraid I have to give up trying to set up a build system for now. Maybe in the near future on my desktop. FYI: On my system (Ubuntu 16.04.3 Xenial) several system packages could not be installed by jhbuild (as they are not available) and it also didn't offer to build them. These were: libicu57 and libical-2.0. I installed them from a newer Ubuntu version and one had an unofficial backport, but not great (as I do not know what they affect/if there were incompatible changes)
Then jhbuild built most of the gnome-world stuff for deja dup, but falls short on webkitgtk because libgcrypt is version 1.6.5 instead of > 1.7. Then, when installing a newer version, somehow this is not even enough, potentially because the version string includes 'beta' which jhbuild seems to think make it < 1.7. This failure of webkitgtk then results in gnome-online-accounts not being built, so deja-dup cannot be built either. Maybe you have some additional tips but I do not really want to add random extra/unstable packages and cannot upgrade/reinstall right now.

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