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Re: GNU Automake 1.14 released

From: Eric Dorland
Subject: Re: GNU Automake 1.14 released
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:00:59 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Hi Stefano,

I was just getting around to packaging this for Debian and I have a
question. Given the new versioning scheme shouldn't the APIVERSION (as
defined in be 1.13 and not 1.14? Or more precisely, does
it make sense for the binary to be renamed given that this release
should have no backwards incompatibility with 1.13?

* Stefano Lattarini (address@hidden) wrote:
> We are pleased to announce the GNU Automake 1.14 minor release.
> This release comes with two important changes:
>   1. It introduces a new feature aimed at making the implementation
>      of non-recursive build systems more convenient and manageable
>      (thanks to the new support for the '%reldir%' and '%canon_reldir%'
>      automake-time substitutions).
>   2. It improves the handling of C compiles not supporting the conjunct
>      use of the '-c' and '-o' options (unfortunately, this improvement
>      comes with a couple of minor backward-incompatibilities, described
>      in detail in the NEWS section below).  Among th other things, this
>      means that you no longer need to explicitly call the AM_PROG_CC_C_O
>      macro yourself in (pre-existing invocation of this
>      macro are of course still accepted and correctly working, for the
>      sake of backward-compatibility).
> The 1.14 release also introduces new (non-fatal) runtime warnings to
> simplify the transition to Automake 2.0.  You are free to ignore such
> warnings for now, but should address them before the transition to
> Automake 2.0 (whose ETA is about one year from now, maybe more, so no
> need to hurry yet).
> See below for the detailed list of changes since the previous version,
> as summarized by the NEWS file.
> Download here:
> Please report bugs and problems to <address@hidden>,
> and send general comments and feedback to <address@hidden>.
> Thanks to everyone who has reported problems, contributed
> patches, and helped testing Automake!
> -*-*-*-
> * WARNING: New versioning scheme for Automake.
>   - Beginning with the release 1.13.2, Automake has started to use a
>     more rational versioning scheme, that should allow users to know
>     which kind of changes can be expected from a new release, based
>     on its version number.
>     + Micro releases (e.g., 1.13.3, 2.0.1, 3.2.8) introduce only bug
>       and regression fixes and documentation updates; they should not
>       introduce new features, nor any backward-incompatibility (any
>       such incompatibility would be considered a bug, to be fixed with
>       a further micro release).
>     + Minor releases (e.g., 1.14, 2.1) can introduce new backward
>       compatible features; the only backward-incompatibilities allowed
>       in such a release are new *non-fatal* deprecations and warnings,
>       and possibly fixes for old or non-trivial bugs (or even inefficient
>       behaviours) that could unfortunately have been seen and used by
>       some as "corner case features".  Possible disruptions caused by
>       this kind of fixes should hopefully be quite rare, and their
>       effects limited in scope.
>     + Major versions (now expected to be released every 18 or 24 months,
>       and not more often) can introduce new big features (possibly with
>       rough edges and not-fully-stabilized APIs), removal of deprecated
>       features, backward-incompatible changes of behaviour, and possibly
>       major refactorings (that, while ideally transparent to the user,
>       could introduce new bugs).  Incompatibilities should however not
>       be introduced gratuitously and abruptly; a proper deprecation path
>       should be duly implemented in the preceding minor releases.
>   - According to this new scheme, the next major version of Automake
>     (the one that had previously been labelled as "1.14") will actually
>     become "Automake 2.0".  Automake 1.14 is *this* release (which is
>     a minor one).  It introduces new features, deprecations and bug
>     fixes, but no serious backward incompatibility.  A partial exception
>     is given by the behavioural changes in the AM_PROG_CC_C_O macro
>     (described in details below) but such changes can also be seen as a
>     fix for the old suboptimal and somewhat confusing behaviour.
>   - See discussion about automake bug#13578 for more details and
>     background: <>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> * WARNING: Future backward-incompatibilities!
>   - Makefile recipes generated by Automake 2.0 will expect to use an
>     'rm' program that doesn't complain when called without any non-option
>     argument if the '-f' option is given (so that commands like "rm -f"
>     and "rm -rf" will act as a no-op, instead of raising usage errors).
>     This behavior of 'rm' is very widespread in the wild, and it will be
>     required in the next POSIX version:
>       <>
>     Accordingly, AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE now expands some shell code that checks
>     that the default 'rm' program in PATH satisfies this requirement,
>     aborting the configure process if this is not the case.  For the
>     moment, it's still possible to force the configuration process to
>     succeed even with a broken 'rm', that that will no longer be the case
>     for Automake 2.0.
>   - Automake 2.0 will require Autoconf 2.70 or later (which is still
>     unreleased at the moment of writing, but is planned to be released
>     before Automake 2.0 is).
>   - Automake 2.0 will drop support for the long-deprecated ''
>     name for the Autoconf input file.  You are advised to start using the
>     recommended name '' instead, ASAP.
>   - The ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS special make variable will be fully deprecated in
>     Automake 2.0: it will raise warnings in the "obsolete" category (but
>     still no hard error of course, for compatibilities with the many, many
>     packages that still rely on that variable).  You are advised to
>     start relying on the new Automake support for AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS
>     instead (which was introduced in Automake 1.13).
>   - Automake 2.0 will remove support for automatic dependency tracking
>     with the SGI C/C++ compilers on IRIX.  The SGI depmode has been
>     reported broken "in the wild" already, and we don't think investing
>     time in debugging and fixing is worthwhile, especially considering
>     that SGI has last updated those compilers in 2006, and is expected
>     to retire support for them in December 2013:
>     <>
>   - Automake 2.0 will remove support for MS-DOS and Windows 95/98/ME
>     (support for them was offered by relying on the DJGPP project).
>     Note however that both Cygwin and MSYS/MinGW on modern Windows
>     versions will continue to be fully supported.
>   - Automake-provided scripts and makefile recipes might (finally!)
>     start assuming a POSIX shell in Automake 2.0.  There still is no
>     certainty about this though: we'd first like to wait and see
>     whether future Autoconf versions will be enhanced to guarantee
>     that such a shell is always found and provided by the checks in
>     ./configure.
>   - Starting from Automake 2.0, third-party m4 files located in the
>     system-wide aclocal directory, as well as in any directory listed
>     in the ACLOCAL_PATH environment variable, will take precedence
>     over "built-in" Automake macros.  For example (assuming Automake
>     is installed in the /usr/local hierarchy), a definition of the
>     AM_PROG_VALAC macro found in '/usr/local/share/aclocal/my-vala.m4'
>     should take precedence over the same-named automake-provided macro
>     (defined in '/usr/local/share/aclocal-2.0/vala.m4').
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> New in 1.14:
> * C compilation, and the AC_PROG_CC and AM_PROG_CC_C_O macros:
>   - The 'compile' script is now unconditionally required for all packages
>     that perform C compilation (if you are using the '--add-missing'
>     option, automake will fetch that script for you, so you shouldn't
>     need any explicit adjustment).  This new behaviour is needed to avoid
>     obscure errors when the 'subdir-objects' option is used, and the
>     compiler is an inferior one that doesn't grasp the combined use of
>     both the '-c' and '-o' options; see discussion about bug#13378 for
>     more details:
>     <>
>     <>
>   - The next major Automake version (2.0) will unconditionally activate
>     the 'subdir-objects' option.  In order to smooth out the transition,
>     we now give a warning (in the category 'unsupported') whenever a
>     source file is present in a subdirectory but the 'subdir-object' is
>     not enabled.  For example, the following usage will trigger such a
>     warning:
>         bin_PROGRAMS = sub/foo
>         sub_foo_SOURCES = sub/main.c sub/bar.c
>   - Automake will automatically enhance the autoconf-provided macro
>     AC_PROG_CC to force it to check, at configure time, that the
>     C compiler supports the combined use of both the '-c' and '-o'
>     options.  The result of this check is saved in the cache variable
>     'am_cv_prog_cc_c_o', and said result can be overridden by
>     pre-defining that variable.
>   - The AM_PROG_CC_C_O macro can still be called, albeit that should no
>     longer be necessary. This macro is now just a thin wrapper around the
>     Automake-enhanced AC_PROG_CC.  This means, among the other things,
>     that its behaviour is changed in three ways:
>       1. It no longer invokes the Autoconf-provided AC_PROG_CC_C_O
>          macro behind the scenes.
>       2. It caches the check result in the 'am_cv_prog_cc_c_o' variable,
>          and not in a 'ac_cv_prog_cc_*_c_o' variable whose exact name is
>          dynamically computed only at configure runtime (really!) from
>          the content of the '$CC' variable.
>       3. It no longer automatically AC_DEFINE the C preprocessor
>          symbol 'NO_MINUS_C_MINUS_O'.
> * Texinfo support:
>   - Automake can now be instructed to place '.info' files generated from
>     Texinfo input in the builddir rather than in the srcdir; this is done
>     specifying the new automake option 'info-in-builddir'.  This feature
>     was requested by the developers of GCC, GDB, GNU binutils and the GNU
>     bfd library.  See the extensive discussion about automake bug#11034
>     for more details.
>   - For quite a long time, Automake has been implementing an undocumented
>     hack which ensured that '.info' files which appeared to be cleaned
>     (by being listed in the CLEANFILES or DISTCLEANFILES variables) were
>     built in the builddir rather than in the srcdir; this hack was
>     introduced to ensure better backward-compatibility with package
>     such as Texinfo, which do things like:
>         info_TEXINFOS = texinfo.txi info-stnd.texi info.texi
>         DISTCLEANFILES = texinfo texinfo-* info*.info*
>         # Do not create info files for distribution.
>         dist-info:
>             @:
>     in order not to distribute generated '.info' files.
>     Now that we have the 'info-in-builddir' option that explicitly causes
>     generated '.info' files to be placed in the builddir, this hack should
>     be longer necessary, so we deprecate it with runtime warnings.  It will
>     likely be removed altogether in Automake 2.0.
> * Relative directory in Makefile fragments:
>   - The special Automake-time substitutions '%reldir%' and '%canon_reldir%'
>     (and their short versions, '%D%' and '%C%' respectively) can now be used
>     in an included Makefile fragment.  The former is substituted with the
>     relative directory of the included fragment (compared to the top-level
>     including Makefile), and the latter with the canonicalized version of
>     the same relative directory.
>         # in '':
>         bin_PROGRAMS = # will be updated by included Makefile fragments
>         include src/
>         # in 'src/':
>         bin_PROGRAMS += %reldir%/foo
>         %canon_reldir%_foo_SOURCES = %reldir%/bar.c
>     This should be especially useful for packages using a non-recursive
>     build system.
> * Deprecated distribution formats:
>   - The 'shar' and 'compress' distribution formats are deprecated, and
>     scheduled for removal in Automake 2.0.  Accordingly, the use of the
>     'dist-shar' and 'dist-tarZ' will cause warnings at automake runtime
>     (in the 'obsolete' category), and the recipes of the Automake-generated
>     targets 'dist-shar' and 'dist-tarZ' will unconditionally display
>     (non-fatal) warnings at make runtime.
> * New configure runtime warnings about "rm -f" support:
>   - To simplify transition to Automake 2.0, the shell code expanded by
>     AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE now checks (at configure runtime) that the default
>     'rm' program in PATH doesn't complain when called without any
>     non-option argument if the '-f' option is given (so that commands like
>     "rm -f" and "rm -rf" act as a no-op, instead of raising usage errors).
>     If this is not the case, the configure script is aborted, to call the
>     attention of the user on the issue, and invite him to fix his PATH.
>     The checked 'rm' behavior is very widespread in the wild, and will be
>     required by future POSIX versions:
>         <>
>     The user can still force the configure process to complete even in the
>     presence of a broken 'rm' by defining the ACCEPT_INFERIOR_RM_PROGRAM
>     environment variable to "yes".  And the generated Makefiles should
>     still work correctly even when such broken 'rm' is used.  But note
>     that this will no longer be the case with Automake 2.0 though, so, if
>     you encounter the warning, please report it to us ASAP (and try to fix
>     your environment as well).
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eric Dorland <address@hidden>
ICQ: #61138586, Jabber: address@hidden

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