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

From: Peter Breitenlohner
Subject: Re: automake/autoconf -- a bug and some deficiencies
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 13:57:02 +0200 (CEST)

On 18 Apr 2002, Ralf Corsepius wrote:

> 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.

Hi Ralf,

thanks for the clarification. So the name of the package does matter, it is

Meanwhile I have looked into my /usr/local/share/autoconf/autoconf/general.m4
(from autoconf-2.53) and found

(a)     AC_SUBST([mandir],         ['${prefix}/man'])dnl
(b)       --mandir=DIR           man documentation [PREFIX/man]

shadow-4.0.3/configure says:
        # Generated by Autoconf 2.52
but the package author may well have used a locally modified general.m4 with
(a) modified but (b) left unchanged. The configure.in definitely contains no
explicit reference to mandir.

Nevertheless, the two independent occurences (a) and (b) for the default for
mandir (and others) in general.m4 are not quite ideal.

> > 2.
> > 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

Good to know.
Given the two possibilities PREFIX/man and PREFIX/share/man for mandir, an
analogous AC_MANDIR_DEFAULT might become useful.

Peter Breitenlohner <address@hidden>

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