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Re: 01-as-require-shell-fn.patch

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: 01-as-require-shell-fn.patch
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 14:13:54 +0000
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Akim Demaille wrote:
|  > "Paolo Bonzini" <address@hidden> writes:
|  >> Now, is there a shell which AS_INIT likes (because it has good LINENO) and
|  >> which fails to satisfy these requests?  If so, you do have a point, but I
|  >> reckon the answer is no.
|  > I tend to agree: I think the answer is no as well.
| I still disagree.  It does matter to have function support, and we
| don't care about LINENO at all.  There are known environment where
| shell functions are not supported by default, e.g., Ultrix.
| But anyway, my point was somewhat different: do you really want
| Autoconf to require shell functions?  I did not.  That's why I was
| referring to another AS_INIT: so that Autotest used functions,
| collects the list of problems before we use it on Autoconf.
| If everybody agrees we can use shell functions, then let's proceed.
| This is quite an audacious change.  Given the popularity of changes in
| Autoconf, I quite fear it...
|  > This issue has been tested in Autoconf for some months now
|  > (Functions Support, Functions and return Support in, and
|  > nobody has reported a problem.
| I do not believe that the set of people/env running make check on
| Autoconf is related in anyway with the set of people/env running
| configure.

Libtool has contained (though not actually called on most env) a shell
function since 2002-10-30, spanning the release of libtool-1.5... libtool
re-execs itself with a shell that has an echo that handles backslashes
properly.  I have not had a single complaint.  I think that it is true that
there are no more env without a function capable shell install(able) from the
vendor installation media, or at least if there are they are used with their
original tools, not to build and install a modern gnu toolset.

I could probably get the libtool dist down to around 1Mb quite easily if we
embraced shell functions.  I am convinced most autotools using packages would
see a pleasant drop in download bandwidth when they upgrade.  One of the most
common complaints I get about the gnu build system is, "I autoconfiscated my
200k package, and now the compressed tarball is a Meg and a half in size!".
When packagers hear of a release that drops half a Meg from the size of their
tarball distributions, I am sure they will eventually leave behind Autoconf 

- --
Gary V. Vaughan      ())_.  address@hidden,}
Research Scientist   ( '/
GNU Hacker           / )=
Technical Author   `(_~)_
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