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Distribution of m4 macros

From: Christian Egli
Subject: Distribution of m4 macros
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 10:55:46 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Hi all

When integrating gnulib in liblouis a changed a few things with regards
to m4 macro location. In particular I added the following to


and the following to

ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS = -I m4 -I gnulib/m4

I also create an empty m4 directory. Now, autoreconf (--force --install)
places some libtool m4 macros, like libtool.m4, etc, in there.

When I do make dist the m4 directory is automatically included in the
tarball (without mentioning m4 anywhere in a as a SUBDIRS).
Make distcheck and everybody else is happy.

However, for an other dev, who is using libtool 1.5.22, autoreconf 2.59
and automake 1.9.6, make distcheck is failing because the m4 directory
is not included in the tarball.

Now, I could probably simply add m4 to the SUBDIRS and add an empty to m4. This might solve the problem, but this doesn't seem
to be standard practice and I'm trying to understand what is going on

How is the m4 directory included in the tarball? How does automake know
that it has to include it? Was this functionality missing in an older
automake? And finally: Is the right way to fix this really to add the m4
directory to SUBDIRS?


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