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[sr #107986] autoconf should reject or specifically warn about obviously

From: anonymous
Subject: [sr #107986] autoconf should reject or specifically warn about obviously wrong configure.ac files
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 05:23:11 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:11.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/11.0


                 Summary: autoconf should reject or specifically warn about
obviously wrong configure.ac files
                 Project: Autoconf
            Submitted by: None
            Submitted on: Fri 16 Mar 2012 05:23:10 AM UTC
                Category: None
                Priority: 5 - Normal
                Severity: 3 - Normal
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
        Originator Email: address@hidden
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
        Operating System: None



The key input to autoconf is "configure.ac", but "obviously wrong"
configure.ac files just sail through.  This is bad, especially for people just
starting to learn autoconf, because a simple typo can produce
mysterious-to-them results.  Autoconf should detect at least some "obviously
wrong" situations, like any other compiler, and complain specifically about
problems so they can be fixed quickly instead of debugged.

1. autoconf should fail loudly if either AC_INIT or AC_OUTPUT are missing, and
specifically say "AC_INIT missing" and/or "AC_OUTPUT missing".

2. If AC_INIT's first parameter contains any whitespace, it should at least
warn.  A common beginner mistake is to think that whitespace is irrelevant in
m4, e.g.:
  AC_INIT( hello , 0.01 )
but the trailing whitespace is actually part of the parameter.  If there *is*
no first parameter (or it's empty), that should probably emit a warning.

3. If there are some other places where beginners are likely to make a mistake
(e.g., whitespace at the end that would probably cause a problem), autoconf
should detect it and either warn or error out.

This would make autoconf easier to work with, since problems would be
immediately and specifically identified, instead of having to debug them.

Thank you!


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