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Re: Manual handling of arguments

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Manual handling of arguments
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 20:06:36 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Hello Olaf, and sorry for the delay,

* Olaf Lenz wrote on Fri, Jul 06, 2007 at 02:57:40PM CEST:
> I'm experiencing some problems with autoconf 2.61. With autoconf 2.59,
> everything was fine. I'm not sure whether this is a bug in the program
> or just in the documentation.
> In the script, I'm trying to use the arguments to the configure script
> "$@" directly after AC_INIT was called. Unfortunately, with autoconf
> 2.61, it has already been altered (by some code concerning the
> "config.site"-file). Therefore it is not possible anymore to do some
> option processing manually.
> In the info page "(autoconf)Initializing configure", it is stated:
> ======================================================
> "If your `configure' script does its own option processing, it should
> inspect `$@' or `$*' immediately after calling `AC_INIT', because other
> Autoconf macros liberally use the `set' command to process strings, and
> this has the side effect of updating `$@' and `$*'."
> ======================================================
> I've also noticed that the variable "ac_configure_args" is defined and
> contains a quoted version of the command line options. Is it better to
> use that variable instead? If so, it should better be documented in the
> info page, shouldn't it?

This is a bug.  I'm unsure whether the code should be fixed -- if so,
then it definitely also needs a testsuite addition to ensure that it
isn't inadvertently broken again, as this is just after use of "$@"
was even documented to be done early at all.  (That is to say, I'm in
favor of fixing it.)

There are already other users of $ac_configure_args out there (GCC for
example); I'm unsure whether we should also consider documenting it
(and what can and cannot be expected from it), so we don't break its
used inadvertently either.

Ralf (may come up with a patch eventually)

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