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Fwd: autoreconf manual entry for --force

From: Emil Laine
Subject: Fwd: autoreconf manual entry for --force
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:04:23 +0300


autoreconf's (version 2.69) man entry for --force states:
> consider all files obsolete

autoreconf's html manual entry for --force states:
> Remake even configure scripts and configuration headers
> that are newer than their input files (configure.ac and,
> if present, aclocal.m4).

When invoking autoreconf with both --install and --force
options, it calls automake --add-missing --force-missing,
which in turn "causes standard files to be reinstalled
even if they already exist in the source tree" (quoted
from automake's html manual, link:

I couldn't deduce this from autoreconf's manual entries,
which led to a problem that I posted about on the Unix &
Linux Stack Exchange site (link to post:

So, IMO, the man entry for autoreconf --force is a bit
vague, while the html manual entry for it simply doesn't
mention all the relevant information. They don't even
say the same thing in different ways, they just say
something completely different.

I think this could be fixed to avoid further possible
confusion. For example the entries in automake's manuals
are much clearer.

For example, the autoreconf entry for --install could say:
> copy missing auxiliary and standard files if they don't
> exist
instead of simply:
> copy missing auxiliary files

The autoreconf entry for --force could say something like:
> consider all auxiliary and standard files obsolete and
> overwrite them
instead of just:
> consider all files obsolete

IMO, this would make the consequences much more evident.

Cheers and HTH,
Emil Laine <address@hidden>

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