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Re: GNU Autoconf test version 2.59d available

From: Ralf Corsepius
Subject: Re: GNU Autoconf test version 2.59d available
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 16:30:24 +0200

On Tue, 2006-06-06 at 14:00 +0200, Stepan Kasal wrote:
> Hello Paul and Ralves,
> the change discussed here was triggered by problems with Solaris'
> make.
> I agree that the Automake manual could mention this bad scenario,
> perhaps something like:
> ``Avoid files with names identical to shell builtins or basic
> commands; during a VPATH build, Solaris' @command{make} would then
> make unwanted replacements in the commands text, yielding very
> puzzling results.  For example, no check script should be named
> @command{test}.''
> OTOH, the recommendation in doc/install.texi could be perhaps more
> grained.  The problem is not that gmake is the only one working, the
> problem is that Solaris' make is extremely evil.  (Do I understand
> correctly that BSD make is not rewriting the commands?)
> The wording could be along this:
> ``The VPATH build should generally work with all make
> implementations.  Getting this right is tremendously tricky, though:
> in particular, the misfeatures of Solaris' @command{make} cause
> biggest troubles.  On the other hand, the most reliable (and most
> tested) is GNU make---try it if the VPATH build is not behaving
> well.''
Well, ... gmake is not the only "make" that might support proper VPATH
builds - It is just one case which does what automake assumes, it could
well be the only existing make implementation which currently do so,
but ... this doesn't mean it is, nor what will be valid in 5 years from

The sub-sentence I consider to be wrong is this:

  INSTALL now suggests VPATH builds (e.g., "sh ../srcdir/configure")
  only if you use GNU make.

"VPATH builds using gmake are supposed to be safe" 
"VPATH builds using Solaris make only work for a subset of class", would
be true.

@Ralf.W: Yes, I haven't checked what has changed in autoconf's sources,
but should there now be any AC_*-check in autoconf, I consider this to
be a bug. 


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