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Re: bug#10925: Perl version problem in autoconf-2.68b

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: bug#10925: Perl version problem in autoconf-2.68b
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 15:15:42 +0100

Hi Paul, Eric.

> Paul Eggert wrote:
>> Solaris 8 ships with Perl 5.005_03.  This satisfies Autoconf 'configure',
>> which requires only 5.005_03 or better.  But
>> lib/Autom4te/Getopt.pm and lib/Autom4te/General.pm
>> require 5.006_002.
As I can test with at most with perl 5.6.2 (and no older versions), I
tend to require the 5.6.2 version in any new perl file, or any existing
file I do non-trivial modifications upon.

> Eric Blake wrote:
> From those lists, the two projects share Channels.pm, Getopt.pm, and
> Struct.pm.  But Getopt.pm originates its minimum of 5.6.2 thanks to
> autoconf commit c3797b86ccbd9.  Does lowering the minimum requirement to
> 5.5 fix things, or do we need to revert that patch to actually re-add
> the workaround that was dropped by that commit bumping to a newer
> version of perl?
I've no idea, since I cannot test with 5.5.  Also, Automake already
requires perl 5.6 globally (and check for it in its configure), so
I don't think its appropriate to introduce a workaround for a perl
version it won't use anyway.  Sorry.

Also, note that the workaround removed in c3797b86ccbd9 was severely
broken to begin with (that is explained in the commit message);
re-introducing it only to make autoconf buildable out-of-the box on
an obsolescent Solaris box seems a very bad idea.

On the top of all that: Automake is a maintainer tool, so it's OK for
it to have requirements tighter w.r.t. older tools that the ones in
place for its generated Makefiles.  After all, Autoconf is already
requiring a fairly modern GNU m4, so why not require perl 5.6 as well?

In conclusion, I'm quite oriented to close this bug report as a


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