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Re: autotools automake autoconf

From: Ron Baker, Pluralitas!
Subject: Re: autotools automake autoconf
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 21:36:51 -0800

"Miles Bader" <> wrote in message">
> "Ron Baker,    Pluralitas!" <> writes:
>> I first learned of m4 twenty years ago, when I was just learning Unix.
>> Then after a couple years I actually used m4.  I thought it was pretty
>> cool.  Then I never heard any mention of m4 until yesterday.  Strange.
> It's a fun piece of trivia, but unless your autoconf files are very
> complex, m4 is not a concept you really have to worry about; it's just
> an implementation detail.  Basic autoconf is dead simple (and automake
> even more so).
> The one really stupid part though is the rigmarole of running the
> various programs in the right order (as you seemed to have been asking

That doesn't sound "dead simple" to me.  ;)

> about before).  _Mostly_ it can be automated by using "autoreconf -i"
> (and the -i is only required the first time), but even that is

I hacked around and I got it working.

I also found this:
And I learned enough about 'info' to get around.

Basically the procedure is:

with the -i on autoreconf the first time only.

I was nervous about running these commands because
I was afraid that if I did it wrong then errors would be
inconspicuously incorporated into the base files
then propagate and avalanche.  But it seems pretty
forgiving.  It seems the base files are not modified.
It seems one can always rerun the sequence without
worrying about permanent damage.

There were a couple other hitches but they were
because my cygwin, mingw, and gtk are not well
integrated.  I hacked around those problems.

> complicated if you're not following full GNU distribution standards (and
> there's no reason you should if you're not writing a GNU program), and
> so want to use automake --foreign -- autoreconf doesn't seem to
> explicitly give you a way to do that.

I'm not up to speed on the "--foreign" option yet.
The documents I have only say that it eases off
on the GNU standards.  I have no idea what the
real consequences of that are?  So far it has
succeeded without the --foreign option.  If it
is no problem I might as well continue trying to
follow GNU standards.  But if a problem occurred
related to it I'm not sure I would recognize it.

> I use the following to do it:
>    AUTOMAKE="automake --foreign" autoreconf -i

What is that?
Is that an alias?  An environment variable?

> -Miles

Thanks for your help.


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