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Re: EXTRA_DIST respects Automake conditionals?

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: EXTRA_DIST respects Automake conditionals?
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 00:09:40 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-15)

Hello Ben,

* Ben Pfaff wrote on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 04:57:08AM CEST:
> I was surprised today to discover that EXTRA_DIST respects
> Automake conditionals.

I think you are the first person to report this, but thinking about how
generally conditionals more or less cover file creation and installation,
but only less than more cover distribution, I see that this makes perfect
sense to assume.  In fact, we have at least one open bug report to the
opposite where it was undesirable to distribute some file that was
conditionally not used.

Generally, it might be necessary to introduce more than one kind of
conditionality here, or, in practice, introduce prefixes that declare
that some item is to be conditionalized not only for creation and
installation, but also for distribution.

Not sure whether that will suffice for all kinds of use cases.  For
example, could a user want to let COND1 govern creation and installation
only but COND2 also govern distribution?  If yes, then we'd need to
think about something more general, like another type of conditional.

In the particular case of EXTRA_DIST, there is only one semantic
attached to this variable: distribution.  So, barring the need for
another type of conditional, it would be sufficient to add another
variable that unconditionally distributes things.  Changing the current
semantics seems like way too dangerous a thing to do I think.

As a workaround, as you say, you could use noinst_HEADERS; can't think
of any better off the top of my head.


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