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Re: automake/autoconf -- a bug and some deficiencies

From: Ralf Corsepius
Subject: Re: automake/autoconf -- a bug and some deficiencies
Date: 18 Apr 2002 11:50:43 +0200

Am Don, 2002-04-18 um 10.46 schrieb Peter Breitenlohner:
> Hi,
> I just fetched and built a package FOO-xx.x and in doing so, I noticed the
> following problems (on Linux, but neiter this nor the name or version of the
> package matters):
> 1.
> "configure --help" says:
>   --mandir=DIR                man documentation [PREFIX/man]
> i.e. claims that the default mandir is PREFIX/man, but inspection of the
> configure script reveals
>       mandir='${prefix}/share/man'
> Please don't misunderstand me. I am not addressing the questions whether
> mandir should be "PREFIX/man" or "PREFIX/share/man"; this is an evolving
> `standard' which I have to (an can) live with. But I am objecting to the
> discrepancy between the "configure --help" output and reality.

The reality is PREFIX/man.

I'd guess, the configure script you are refering to is playing tricks
with $(prefix)/share/man.
> I consider this discrepancy a bug (or, if you wish, a lie).
Neither, it is this particular configure script trying to outsmart
> 2.
> configure.in for that package starts with
>       dnl Some hacks...
>       test "$prefix" = "NONE" && prefix="/usr"
>       .........
> i.e. with some hacks to change autoconf's builtin default prefix.
> Again, this is not reflected in the "configure --help" output, and actually
> I see no decent way to achieve this.
Same as above, this configure.in's author is trying to outsmart

> I think some autoconf macros to that end (changing some of the defaults for a
> package and simultaneously modifying the "configure --help" output) would be
> highly desirable/useful.
This already exists with autoconf >= 2.50: AC_PREFIX_DEFAULT


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