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[sr #110261] _LT_CMD_OLD_ARCHIVE should not inline AC_PROG_RANLIB

From: Zack Weinberg
Subject: [sr #110261] _LT_CMD_OLD_ARCHIVE should not inline AC_PROG_RANLIB
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:54:52 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0


                 Summary: _LT_CMD_OLD_ARCHIVE should not inline AC_PROG_RANLIB
                 Project: GNU Libtool
            Submitted by: zackw
            Submitted on: Fri 10 Jul 2020 06:54:50 PM UTC
                Category: None
                Priority: 5 - Normal
                Severity: 3 - Normal
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
        Operating System: None



Autoconf bug #108503 <>
reports a conflict between the advice given by libtoolize and the advice given
by autoscan:

> Let's say that, in an empty directory, I have a file
> that looks like this:
>   AC_INIT([testcase])
> Then I autoreconf, which puts into the current
> directory. Now when I run autoscan, it produces the following
> warnings:
>   Local-Admins-MacBook-Pro:autoconf_bug_reports_dir localadmin$ autoscan
> warning: missing AC_PROG_CXX wanted by:
> warning: missing AC_PROG_INSTALL wanted by:
> warning: missing AC_PROG_MAKE_SET wanted by:
> warning: missing AC_PROG_RANLIB wanted by:
> So I add these macros to my, and now, when I autoreconf
> again, it includes this warning:
>   glibtoolize: `AC_PROG_RANLIB' is rendered obsolete by `LT_INIT'
> If I then go and remove AC_PROG_RANLIB, autoscan will then warn
> about it being missing again the next time I run it, leading to an
> endless cycle of conflicting warnings.

This is happening because _LT_CMD_OLD_ARCHIVE (invoked by LT_INIT) inlines the
body of AC_PROG_RANLIB, so autoscan does not know that $RANLIB will be set. 
embedding AC_CHECK_TOOL([RANLIB], [ranlib], [:]), there would be no problem.

AC_PROG_RANLIB has used AC_CHECK_TOOL since the beginning of the VCS history
for Autoconf (in 2001), so if this is a workaround for a very old autoconf
that used AC_CHECK_PROG instead of AC_CHECK_TOOL, I don't think it's necessary
any more


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