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Touching the PATH

From: Akim Demaille
Subject: Touching the PATH
Date: 05 Nov 2002 15:06:37 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Honest Recruiter)

I fyou look at the current tarball of GNU M4, located here:  or .bz2

you'll see that make distcheck fails, while make check passes.
distcheck fails in a simple way, corresponding to this:

~/src/m4/m4-1.4q/=build/tests % echo 'esyscmd(m4 --version)' | PATH=`pwd`:$PATH 

m4: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object 
file: No such file or directory

What's wrong?

What is wrong is that the PATH is not the one I passed:

~/src/m4/m4-1.4q/=build/tests % echo 'esyscmd(echo $PATH)' | PATH=`pwd`:$PATH 

and therefore, it is not the m4 I wanted to run that is run:

~/src/m4/m4-1.4q/=build/tests % echo 'esyscmd(which m4)' | PATH=`pwd`:$PATH m4

Which apparently, didn't get the variables it wanted.

This is because of the following lines in ltmain,.sh:

          $echo >> $output "\
      # Export the path to the program.
      export PATH

      exec \$program \${1+\"address@hidden"}

Why not running directly the program?  Well, because:

1997-01-28  Gordon Matzigkeit  <address@hidden>

        * (link): Export the PATH variable in order to find
        the program, rather than giving a full path.  This helps give the
        program a less confusing value for argv[0].

but this is no longer relevant!!!  Just look at the poor name reported
by the program:

remo% ./m4 --help | sed 1q
Usage: lt-m4 [OPTION]... [FILE]...

the name is already broken by the fact that lt- is prepended.

So, because playing with PATH (and with any user var actually) is a
bad idea, I vote for the replacement of the code above by:

          $echo >> $output "\
      exec \$progdir/\$program \${1+\"address@hidden"}


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