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Re: Broken makefile given Autoconf version mismatch

From: Keith MARSHALL
Subject: Re: Broken makefile given Autoconf version mismatch
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 15:12:33 +0100

>> This requirement is reflected in the SunOS man page, (from
>> SunOS 5.5.4, IIRC)
> Hmmm, "SunOS 5.5.4"?  There's no such version.

It's actually 5.5.1;  I wasn't able to access the machine until
I came back to work today, after the Easter break, and was quoting
from a failing memory :-(  Perhaps I was confusing it with the
VMS 5.4 on the ancient VAX sitting next to the Sparc.  :-)

> The Sun 'sed' pages that I looked at (from SunOS 5.8 and SunOS 5.10)
> don't require that _every_ command be separated by newlines; only that
> commands within { ... } be separated by newlines, which is the POSIX
> rule that CVS Autoconf and Automake already conform to.
> So (unless I'm missing something) I think we're OK.

Ok.  I've just had another good read of the SunOS 5.5.1 sed man page.
On first reading, I obviously overlooked this (short) paragraph:
|Multiple commands can be specified by separating them with a
|semicolon (;) on the same command line.

and interpreted this:
|Two of the commands take a command-list, which is a list  of
|sed commands separated by NEWLINE characters, as follows:
|     { command
|     command
|     }

as meaning *all* commands in a script had to be separated by
NEWLINES.  Reviewing it again, I too think Autoconf's usage is ok.

BTW, the original groff problem was due to semicolons where NEWLINES
*were* required -- in a command-list between braces.  In our initial
fix, we eliminated the braces, but kept the semicolons, which should
have been ok; yet, it still failed on Mac OS X!  In the final solution
we eliminated the semicolons, in favour of `-e' switches, and we also
removed a `\+' RE construct.  In hindsight, we should have evaluated
the effects of each of these changes independently, for it now seems
likely that it was the `\+' RE, which GNU sed supports, but isn't
specified in the POSIX basic RE grammar, that caused the later
failure, after the removal of the braces.

Ah, well.  We all live and learn.  Thanks to all here, who have
helped me to a better understanding of this issue.


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