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Re: configuring sub directories optional

From: Jeff Squyres
Subject: Re: configuring sub directories optional
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 13:04:44 -0500 (EST)

On 28 Oct 2002, Akim Demaille wrote:

> What is the feature you (Jeff) lack?  Why would it be normal to fail?
> What can't you have the sub configure exit 0 in case of
> what-is-not-that-much-of-a-failure?
> People have used
> if test -d foo; then
> fi
> successfully until now (as suggested by Earnie).

When you us AC_CONFIG_SUBDIRS, foo/configure is run *after* the main
configure script completes (I don't know the exact mojo, but its
definitely run either after or at the end of my top-level's
AC_OUTPUT).  Sorry -- I had forgotten about this, or I would have
mentioned it in a previous post.  I remembered it when I wrote some quick
test examples to be able to reply intelligently.  :-)

So there's no chance for the top-level to analyze and react
if foo/configure fails.  Also, if foo/configure fails but still does an
"exit 0" (and therefore the overall configure succeeds), then the
top-level package still thinks that foo is compilable/installable.

Hence, foo's has extra work to do to ensure that the entire
package is able to be compiled/installed:

- if foo/configure succeeds, setup the foo package as normal
- if foo/configure fails, setup the foo package so that "make all" and
  "make install" essentially pass-through and do nothing.  This
  essentially means adding a whole level of indirection to

It is much more desirable to allow the top-level to determine
that foo/configure failed and then not add "foo" to SUBDIRS so that
various make targets never traverse into "foo" in the first place (since
it is possible/likely that no Makefiles have been generated in the foo

The big workaround that I did was mainly for 2 reasons:

1. Allow sub-configure scripts to be run *during* the execution of the
top-level (and therefore the top-level can check
for success or failure).

2. Allow sub-configure scripts to return != 0 status and fail cleanly
without having to configure themselves in a "pass through" mode.

I hope that makes sense.  :-)

{+} Jeff Squyres
{+} address@hidden
{+} Research Associate, Open Systems Lab, Indiana University

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