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RE: [ENHANCEMENT]Autoconfig.pdf

From: Arthur Schwarz
Subject: RE: [ENHANCEMENT]Autoconfig.pdf
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:50:20 -0700

I have finished what I can only consider as a World Class Enhancement;
neglecting only that an enhancement in one person's eye is trash in
another's. Sigh.

I am including an Open Office document (.odt) and a pdf document for
rewritten prefatory sections of the automake User's Manual. Please interpret
this as an "If I were doing the ..." knowing full well that you are doing
the work and not me. If you accept any non-trivial portion of my work for
future releases of the User's Manual then you have to tell the FSF to send
me forms to turn over my copyright (to the work) to the FSF.

There are a few notes (which, I fear, only one of us will think relevant).
1: You have no Colophon defined. If you think it useful to have I've left a
placeholder for it.

2: The libtool descriptions I've left hanging. I briefly looked at the
libtool User's Manual and noticed that it specifies and uses libtoolize and
libtoolize has a slew of input files. No time to look at them right now.

3: The automake build diagram in the existing User's Manual incompletely
specifies the output files. I think that there (must be?) one or more
Makefile(s) generated but they are not specified.

4: The Target build diagram in the existing User's Manual seems wrong and
ambiguous. From the diagram it looks like the user must execute configure,
then execute the generated config.status, then execute the generated
Makefiles using make. Yet in bison-3.0.2 a minimum build consists of 

    > configure && make && make install

which doesn't look possible from the diagram. Anyhow, I'm confused.

5: As a suggestion, it would be nice to have an appendix with a table
containing nothing but autoconfig macro's (with a hyperlinks to their

6: It doesn't appear that Gnulib (Section 2.2) and Pointers (Section 2.4)
belong with the GNU Build System. They don't seem to be tools.

7: I thought that "GNU Build Tools Suite" more directly addresses the
toolset than "The GNU Build System". 

8: I would think that ifnames, autoscan, autoreconf, other scripts or
executables should be included in the GNU Build Tools Suite. From the users
standpoint (not necessarily the autoconf developers) they are part of a
toolset optionally needed for a maintainer to generate a configure file.
>From the users standpoint it is puzzling that they are not part of the build

9: It would be useful to have an appendix with the command line interface
for all tools in the GNU Build Tool Suite. Where it stands now seems
confusing and in an appendix it would be possible to provide generic
descriptions of common command line commands (-v, -I, -B, etc.) What seems
missing from the boiler plate descriptions is, e.g., that the purpose of -I
and -B is to alter the search paths. Prepend (-B) seems confusing. Since the
syntax for command line input is unrelated to either macros or shell
fragments it might be better to separate them from the main body of text.
The User's Manual should describe autoconf not command line execution syntax
and options.

10: What I didn't know and/or did not have time to investigate I left with a
hook in the enhancement.

11: I ran out of time. If the current submission looks good then I'll try to
continue this weekend (?). Otherwise, well, I will have missed the target.

Attachment: enhancements.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

Attachment: enhancements.odt
Description: application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text

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