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Re: autoconf 2.53 doesn't find autom4te

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: autoconf 2.53 doesn't find autom4te
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 05:50:34 -0700 (PDT)

> From: Akim Demaille <address@hidden>
> Date: 13 Jun 2002 12:23:21 +0200
> I dislike this very much.  This patch is wrong to me.  It is a bug
> from the user if autoconf cannot be found in the PATH.  If you symlink
> one guy, you symlink all the others.
> It is wrong to hard code locations in the binaries.  I would
> definitely agree for hidden binaries, but this is not the case of
> Autoconf: all the tools are user tools.

I don't follow the distinction here.  If I install diffutils into
/usr/local on my machine, /usr/local/bin/diff3 refers to
/usr/local/bin/diff (because diff3 invokes diff) and it also refers to
/usr/local/lib/ (because diff3 uses the iconv library).
In both cases, the default absolute path is hardwired into diff3.
The principle is similar in both cases.

> I don't know what part of the GCS you are referring to here.

I was referring to <>
which says "Please don't make the behavior of a utility depend on the
name used to invoke it. It is useful sometimes to make a link to a
utility with a different name, and that should not change what it
does."  This seemed to me to describe what Bruno Haible did.

However, upon reflection, the GCS doesn't describe Bruno's situation
exactly, because he did two things: (1) linked the file, and (2)
changed PATH.  The GCS talks about (1) but not about (2).  So upon
reflection I agree that the GCS doesn't require the behavior that
Bruno requested.  However, I still think that the behavior is

I also agree that the current situation (after my patch) is not good,
and I'll look into fixing it.  But it's not just an issue of commands
executed via PATH.  It's also an issue of all the other files that
autoconf/autom4te/etc refer to.  For example, currently if I try to
run "make check" when nothing is installed, I get a failure like the
following in test 3, because Perl won't find Autom4te/
This problem is not a PATH issue, but it's basically the same problem
as the PATH issue.

  ## ------------------------------ ##
  ## GNU Autoconf 2.53b test suite. ##
  ## ------------------------------ ##
  3. testing autoconf --trace: user macros... autoconf -t TRACE1 -t TRACE2
  > Can't locate Autom4te/ in @INC (@INC contains: 
/tmp/prefix/share/autoconf /usr/perl5/5.00503/sun4-solaris /usr/perl5/5.00503 
/usr/perl5/site_perl/5.005/sun4-solaris /usr/perl5/site_perl/5.005 .) at 
/net/knick/home/eggert/src/gnu/autoconf-path.tmp/bin/autom4te line 40.
  > BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at 
/net/knick/home/eggert/src/gnu/autoconf-path.tmp/bin/autom4te line 40.

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