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Re: mmm-mode configure hangs because of autoconf bug

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: mmm-mode configure hangs because of autoconf bug
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:28:50 -0600
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On 09/23/2015 03:45 PM, Jauhien Piatlicki wrote:
> Hi,
> on my Gentoo system autogenerated configure script for mmm-mode
> (http://mmm-mode.sourceforge.net/) hangs because configure script
> generated by autoconf calls emacs without '--no-site-file' flag.

Thanks for the report.  However, it is not a bug in autoconf.

Here are the only three places that autoconf source code mentions '-batch':

$ git grep -e -batch
ChangeLog.3:    (TEXI2DVI): Make it --batch.
build-aux/gnupload:GPG='gpg --batch --no-tty'
configure.ac:      [$TEST_EMACS -batch -q -f batch-byte-compile
conftest.el 1>&2])],

The first is not code; the second is unrelated to emacs, and the third,
while probably something that could be patched to use --no-site-file, is
limited to code run when configuring autoconf itself, and not something
injected into configure scripts of other packages.

But even then, I'd rather have an actual bug report of someone failing
to configure autoconf itself before changing autoconf's configure.ac,
and not an indirect report of a bug in mmm-mode's configure script.

> The call that configure makes looks like this:
>     sudo emacs -batch -q -eval '(while load-path (princ (concat (car
> load-path) "\n")) (setq load-path (cdr load-path)))'
> and it hangs on
>     Opening output file: no such file or directory,
> /root/.emacs.d/.smex-items
> The call
>     sudo emacs -batch -q --no-site-file -eval '(while load-path (princ
> (concat (car load-path) "\n")) (setq load-path (cdr load-path)))'
> succeds. It is a bug in the sys-devel/autoconf and can not be fixed by
> patching configure.in as autoconf itself generates wrong call to emacs.

I suspect that the bad code is embedded in whoever wrote
AC_EMACS_VERSION.  That macro is poorly named (it infringes on the
autoconf namespace, even though it is not part of autoconf).

$ echo $?

but without seeing the source of that macro, I cannot reproduce your

There may also be problems with the elisp-comp script bundled by
automake not using --no-site-file, but that would be a bug in the
automake project, not here.

> Configure and configure.in are attached.

By the way, configure.in is an obsolete name; you should consider
upgrading mmm-mode to name the file configure.ac.

Eric Blake   eblake redhat com    +1-919-301-3266
Libvirt virtualization library http://libvirt.org

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