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Re: can I suppress "invalid unused variable name"?

From: Steve M. Robbins
Subject: Re: can I suppress "invalid unused variable name"?
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 01:57:23 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.20i

On Sat, Aug 11, 2001 at 03:44:54PM -0600, Tom Tromey wrote:
> >>>>> "Steve" == Steve M Robbins <address@hidden> writes:
> Steve> However, you sent to bug-automake.  I'm re-sending to the
> Steve> automake discussion list, since (a) I'm not sure it is a bug,
> Steve> and (b) someone in the wider audience may know a workaround.
> Steve>        LDADD = ... $(CGAL_LDFLAGS) ...
> Steve> and automake complains:
> Steve> invalid unused variable name: `CGAL_LDFLAGS'
> This is a "feature".  I'll explain why it exists and what it does;
> then we can discuss whether it is really worth keeping.

[ ... ]

> In your case the workaround is to rename the variable.  This is what
> makes the feature seem like a potential misfeature -- it is natural to
> want to name it the way you did.

If it were my decision, I would rename the variable.  I tend to like
this feature, actually, and I'm willing to let automake grab that part
of the namespace for itself.  However, the main problem is this: I did
not write the makefile scrap that is being included.  It is generated
by the CGAL library install script, and the names are not under my

The main reason I brought it up is that in addition to emitting the
diagnostic message, automake will exit with nonzero status when this
happens.  This has bad side effects, like causing the "missing" script
to emit an incorrect diagnostic:

  cd . && \
    /bin/sh /home/steve/src/test/automake/missing-lines/missing --run automake 
--foreign  Makefile invalid unused variable name: `CGAL_LDFLAGS'
  WARNING: `automake' is missing on your system.  You should only need it if
         you modified `', `acinclude.m4' or `'.
         You might want to install the `Automake' and `Perl' packages.
         Grab them from any GNU archive site.

Automake is certainly not *missing*!

At the moment, automake does generate a correct despite
the warning.  I'm a bit worried that in the future automake will cease
to generate the when it encounters "errors" such as this.

> Steve> [Incidentally, there used to be a line number attached to this
> Steve> diagnostic, but that suddenly stopped. (??)]
> Thanks.  This is definitely a bug.  Could you submit a PR to Gnats?

I tried, but the login page at redhat just keeps returning me to
the login page at redhat.  (
I'll send a note to bug-automake.


by Rocket to the Moon,
by Airplane to the Rocket,
by Taxi to the Airport,
by Frontdoor to the Taxi,
by throwing back the blanket and laying down the legs ...
- They Might Be Giants

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