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Re: lib/Makefile.am:145: GL_GENERATE_STDDEF_H does not appear in AM_COND

From: Kevin R. Bulgrien
Subject: Re: lib/Makefile.am:145: GL_GENERATE_STDDEF_H does not appear in AM_CONDITIONAL
Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 10:11:58 -0500 (CDT)

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruno Haible" <address@hidden>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 5:42:12 PM
> Kevin R. Bulgrien wrote:
> > Not knowing how to resolve this last error, I found:
> > 
> >   http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnulib/2011-05/msg00467.html
> >   http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-automake/2011-05/msg00023.html
> >   https://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=8718
> > 
> > Here I see what seems to be an issue that was marked as WONTFIX,
> > and, in the debbugs.gnu.org thread, a potential workaround
> > posted by Bruno Haible
> It is marked as "won't fix", but in this thread I wrote:
>   This solves my problem. Thanks for the idea to use
>   I will add this workaround to gnulib.
> I don't remember why I never implemented this solution. But I believe
> that the patch by Paul Eggert from a while later
>   https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnulib/2011-10/msg00106.html
> fixed this problem.

Thanks for noting this.  The comment triggered more consideration as
to why top-of-tree would be "broken" if a fix had been applied.

> > This is what I did (for starters) with a recent gnulib pulled from
> > git a few weeks ago: ...
> > 
> > As the vendor supplied autotools were dated (automake 1.7.1 and its
> > friends), it seemed necessary/prudent to build newer autotools ...
> > successfully done up to automake 1.9.6, autoconf 2.6.5, and m4 1.4.9.
> Automake 1.9.6 is 13 years old!! We are not supporting such old
> releases any more.  The current gnulib/DEPENDENCIES says that the
> minimum you need is Automake 1.11.1 (which is 8 years old); you
> should better start to use the newest Automake 1.16.1 immediately.
> Note also that the GNU build tools distinguish between a development
> machine and a target machine. On the development machine you create
> tarballs with a configure script; on the target machine you run the
> configure script and 'make'.  On the development machine, you need
> recent Autotools; on the target machine (your very old system) you
> don't need anything beyond sh, common utilities, grep, sed, awk,
> and make.

This tutorial was likely sorely needed, and indeed, thanks for the
hint regarding development vs. target though it does seem daunting.
Searches for related information seem to imply this means setting up
a cross-compile environment, and that people find this very hard to
do - involving days of effort.  It is surely wise to consider this in
the event of doing significant work on the target, but, in the short
term, I confess that it sounds like overkill.  There was no intent to
ask for fixes in connection with what is being done.
> > With the new tools, progress:
> > 
> >   $ autoreconf
> >   lib/Makefile.am:145: GL_GENERATE_STDDEF_H does not appear in
> >   autoreconf: automake failed with exit status: 1
> Can you reproduce this with the newest Automake and Autoconf?  If
> so, please make the tarball available so that we can analyze it.

It turns out that inexperience was at the root of the issue, and that
configure.ac and Makefile.am edits were incorrect; the error was
easily avoided.  gnulib-tool-suggested ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS Makefile.am
edits were incorrectly applied.  A correction removes the error:
"lib/Makefile.am:145: GL_GENERATE_STDDEF_H does not appear in

To reproduce it, I comment out the "ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS = -I m4"
assignment in my lib/Makefile.am.  It would appear that addressing
the more glaring warning about out-of-date tools led me away from
looking for more simple issues.

> > Does the approach of backing down to an old gnulib seem best
> Not at all. We won't spend time on fixing things that cannot be
> reproduced with recent gnulib and recent Automake.
> Bruno

After fixing the Makefile.am, it is possible to use top-of-tree
despite using dated autotools.

Thanks for your time.  Apologies that a simple error on my part
ending up consuming it.

Kevin R. Bulgrien

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