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Re: CVS Automake fails to make check with CVS Autoconf

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: CVS Automake fails to make check with CVS Autoconf
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 20:40:14 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

[ adding bug-autoconf; this is
  http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.sysutils.automake.patches/2774 ]

Hello Benoit, all,

Thanks for the report.

* Benoit Sigoure wrote on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 08:47:54AM CEST:
> when running HEAD's make check, I get a failure:
> + aclocal-1.10a -Werror
> configure.in:4: error: AC_SUBST: `$1' is not a valid shell variable name
> configure.in:4: the top level
> autom4te: /opt/local/bin/gm4 failed with exit status: 1
> aclocal: autom4te failed with exit status: 1
> + exit 1
> FAIL: subst.test
> autoconf/lib/autoconf/general.m4:2042 reads:
> m4_define([AC_SUBST],
> [m4_bmatch(m4_bpatsubst([[$1]], [@&address@hidden), ^m4_defn([m4_re_word])$, 
> [],
>   [AC_FATAL([$0: `$1' is not a valid shell variable name])])dnl

> (They are all from yesterday's CVS HEAD excepted GNU M4)

Hmm.  automake/tests/subst.test is from 1996 and has seen trivial
changes in 2001 and 2002, and has this comment:

# Test that AC_SUBST($1) does something sensible.  From Ulrich
# Drepper.

It is broken by this recent (and very sensible) patch against Autoconf:

| 2007-06-12  Noah Misch  <address@hidden>
|         * lib/autoconf/general.m4 (AC_SUBST): Raise a fatal error if VARIABLE 
|         not a valid shell variable name.
|         * tests/mktests.sh (ac_exclude_list): Add AC_ARG_VAR.
|         * tests/torture.at (AC_SUBST: variable name validation): New test.
|         Reported by Andreas Schwab.

> Maybe this test ought to be removed from Automake?

I'm a bit afraid the Autoconf change, good as it looks to me, may just
happen to break some obscure macro code somewhere -- after all, there is
a reason that a test exists.  Searching around in the glibc CVS
repository lead me nowhere conclusive though.  FWIW, the Automake change
that installed the test has this rather innocent ChangeLog entry:

| Tue Dec 10 00:41:17 1996  Tom Tromey  <address@hidden>
|         * automake.in (AC_SUBST_PATTERN): Check for alphanumeric variable
|         names only.  Test subst.test.

I think mailing lists or similar trails were not used back then, but I
did not search for any particular now.



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