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Re: Site Macro Directory

From: Akim Demaille
Subject: Re: Site Macro Directory
Date: 24 May 2002 12:35:53 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Honest Recruiter)

| On Wed May 22 21:40 2002 -0500, Mark D. Roth wrote:
| > On Wed May 22 15:50 2002 -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
| > > My own reaction is positive, but I would suggest that you write up the
| > > proposal, as a proposed patch to the manual.  (Often the documentation
| > > is the hardest to write, so perhaps it'll be easier for you if you
| > > implement it and then document it.  :-)
| > 
| > No problem.  I'll mail the documentation patch to the list when I have
| > it done.
| While working on this, I noticed that the current autom4te code
| reverses the order of the `-I' options before passing them to m4.  The
| documentation says:
|   `--include=DIR'
|   `-I DIR'
|        Also look for input files in DIR.  Multiple invocations
|        accumulate.  Contrary to M4 but in agreement with common sense,
|        directories are browsed from last to first.
| From my perspective, this behavior is extremely counter-intuitive.
| Every other tool that I know of that accepts a `-I' option (including
| gcc, GNU make, GNU m4, and perl) prepends the arguments to the search
| path in the order specified.  As a result, I was extremely surprised
| to discover that autoconf does the reverse.

Because the logic is to respect the last flag occurrence first for all
the other flags but this one.  Honestly, to me it is a serious bug in
all the other implementations.

And it *does* matter to autom4te, for instance because you do want
sometimes to say ``I want _my_ macros to be used first''.  So you
`autom4te -l autoconf -I .'.  But then, you want `.' to take precedence.

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