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[sr #111044] autoconf should assert existence of all subsidiary tools at

From: Zack Weinberg
Subject: [sr #111044] autoconf should assert existence of all subsidiary tools at startup
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2024 13:18:09 -0400 (EDT)

Update of sr #111044 (group autoconf):

                Priority:       5 - Unprioritized => 2 - Eventually         
                Severity:              3 - Normal => 2 - Minor              
                  Status:                    None => Need Info              


Follow-up Comment #2:

Thank you for (re-)reporting this bug.  I agree that autoconf should make
reasonable efforts to run in a minimal environment and, when the environment
is too minimal to tolerate, it should give clear error messages.  In
particular I agree that neither `diff` nor `awk` (and arguably not even `sed`)
should be an implicit dependency.

That said, this kind of bug is very difficult to work on without concrete test
cases and test environments.  If you could provide us with both of

* a minimized configure.ac that produces a configure script that malfunctions
(meaning, neither runs to completion correctly nor produces a useful error
message and halts) in the minimal environment you're working with

* details of the minimal environment you're working with, in particular the
complete list of available shell commands ("command names" as defined in
-- most importantly, both shell built-ins and external executables) and any
cases where functionality guaranteed by POSIX.1-2001 is absent; f there is a
straightforward recipe for constructing a matching environment from widely
available free software, please describe it

that would be super helpful and would probably get the bug addressed orders of
magnitude faster.


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