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what is $ac_t ?

From: Sam Steingold
Subject: what is $ac_t ?
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 12:25:53 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20100721)

google appears to suggest that $ac_t is widely used in older configure scripts as a tab character, e.g.:
echo "$ac_t""found" 1>&6
it appears that it it not mentioned in any docs and not defined to anything useful for some time.

since recently, however, it is used in a loop setting ac_install_sh, and now it is set to "install-sh". thus now I see configure messages like

checking for getrlimit declaration... (cached) install-shextern int getrlimit (enum __rlimit_resource, struct rlimit *);

Thus my questions are:

1. optional: what is the history of the matter?

2. required: is there a replacement for ac_t or should it be dropped?


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