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Re: RFE: Restricting a package to a particular automake version

From: Ralf Corsepius
Subject: Re: RFE: Restricting a package to a particular automake version
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:48:39 +0100

On Wed, 2003-11-26 at 09:29, Akim Demaille wrote:
>  > Hi,
>  > With the release of automake-1.8 ahead, a request for enhancement:
>  > automake-1.8 probably will be incompatible to automake-1.7
>  > Up to now I have encountered 2 incompatiblities:
>  > * The generating info files in $srcdir issue.
>  > * aclocal complaining about underquoting in custom macros.
> You can't call this an incompatibility!
I did and will repeat it whenever being asked about ;)

To me, an incompatibility is something I need to work at to make it work

When having several dozens of's in source tree and even
more custom aclocal macros, causing 100's of warnings, you may relate
why I don't share your opinion.

>   It is only a warning, and a
> very good warning: pacifying it means being on the safe side whatever
> the version of Autoconf and/or Automake.
Of cause, but ... generations  of aclocal releases (up and including to
1.7.9) did not complain. 

Also, experience tells that expecting any automake/autoconf release to
be compatible to its predecessors is naive, wishful thinking.

There always has been something that didn't work as before and has
required manual intervention. I.e. though my request has been caused by
experiencing warnings from automake-1.7f, I don't consider this request
to be directly related to the release of automake-1.8, but to ease of
use of autoconf and automake in general.

>From a practical point of view: Imagine a package had been tested and
released using automake-1.7.9. In near future, people will start using
autoconf-2.60/3.00 and automake-1.8. Using these autotools, they will be
experiencing 100's of warnings and start complaining. As a maintainer, I
am not wanting to answer the same questions every second day. Then some
day, automake-1.9/autoconf-2.61 will be released, which might trigger
something really incompatible. 

Having a macro causing automake/autoconf to refuse running on a package
would help avoid such situations.


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