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Re: Site Macro Directory

From: Peter Eisentraut
Subject: Re: Site Macro Directory
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 17:14:52 +0200 (CEST)

Mark D. Roth writes:

> First, autoconf will be modified to read all of the m4 files in the
> `ac-package' subdirectory.

> Second, an AC_SITE_INCLUDE macro will be added to allow individual m4
> files to be read from the system's site macro directory.

> If it helps, think of these two modifications as two different
> proposals, since they're really meant to address two different needs.

I don't think these ideas are going to work as they stand.

Part one, automatically reading all files that are named a particular way
is not a strategy that is commonly followed by other tools (e.g, the C
compiler automatically including all *.h files in the current directory).
Normally you call them out explicitly, or via wildcards, or you can do it
like aclocal, including only those that are "needed", which is a dubious
strategy in itself.  Also, instead of ac-package you'd have to use
AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR (or whatever it's called these days).

Part two, designating a single directory as the site directory is not
going to be liked by everybody.  If Autoconf is installed as part of "the
system" under /usr, many people won't like to put AC files belonging to
"locally" installed packages somewhere under /usr/share or whereever it is
you want to put the site directory.

Personally, I like a generic include macro that has a configurable search
path.  That is a well-understood concept that has worked reasonably well
for many other programming tools.

Peter Eisentraut   address@hidden

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