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Re: Autoconf requires m4 and m4 requires autoconf

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Autoconf requires m4 and m4 requires autoconf
Date: Sat, 02 Jan 2010 13:26:49 -0700
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According to Chris Karakas on 1/2/2010 12:41 PM:
> But actually, that's *exactly* what I started to do this day!

No, installing m4 1.4.13 does NOT require running autoconf.

> build m4.spec
> + autoreconf --force --install
> configure.ac:20: error: Autoconf version 2.60 or higher is required

That's your problem.  'build' is too complicated, and tries to invoke too
many tools.  Do NOT use 'build' for bootstrapping your installation.
Rather, you should take the tarball that you have:

> So far so good. I tried both m4-1.4.13.tar.bz2

extract it, then run './configure', 'make', and 'make install'.  You may
want to pass --prefix=/path/to/alternate/location, and then add that
alternate location to your PATH, if you want the installation to exist
only long enough to bootstrap other modern tools then discard that
installation.  And m4 1.4.x is lightweight enough that you can even use
the uninstalled src/m4 executable after 'make', without even running 'make
install', for the purposes of building autoconf.

> That pretty much says it all. If you have autoconf-2.59-79, like me, you 
> lose. 2.59 is clearly less that 2.60.

No.  You only lose _if you need to regenerate configure_.  'build' wrongly
assumes that you need to regenerate configure to build m4.  But you don't.
 The configure included with m4 is already good enough to just use as is
for installing an initial m4 that is then new enough for building autoconf.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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