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Re: libtool.m4 usage of diff when comparing files

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: libtool.m4 usage of diff when comparing files
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 07:15:30 -0400

   > Instead of using diff, we can use cmp which more common than
   > diff.  Reason is that I encountered a (custom) system without
   > diff installed, but with gcc, and had ./configure output that it
   > could not run diff.

   info standards 'Utilities in Makefiles' lists both cmp and diff as
   allowed tools.  The cases where diff is used in libtool.m4 compare
   text files, and as such diff is the right tool to use, not cmp,
   because one side of the comparison may have been munged by sed or
   other tools to have a different newline encoding.

Good point, didn't think of that.  This also excludes using *sum for
comparison; which is a pitty.

   Now, if GNU diffutils used libtool, we'd have a bootstrapping issue
   that would be useful to resolve, but other than that, I don't see
   why we should limit ourselves here.  

Neither do I now after a few hours of sleep; I think I was just
suprised that diff was needed, and for some odd reason the system in
question had cmp; where I just made the conclusion that cmp is part of

Oh well...

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