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Re: Using GNU Make

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Using GNU Make
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 20:54:48 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

* Reuben Thomas wrote on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 at 10:38:55PM CEST:
> On Mon, 6 Apr 2009, Ralf Wildenhues wrote:
>> What do you mean by "allow it to be required".  You can require it now
>> for your package using autotools.
> Right, and my original question was to ask "how do I require GNU Make in 
> an autotoolised package?" I'm still don't see an "official" answer to 
> that question, only an autoconf archive macro.

Oh, you expect an official answer or an official macro?  Well, if you
provide a patch for a macro, and it is useful and there is sufficient
need, then I guess it can be accepted into Autoconf.  I don't see how
this is very pressing though, a macro in the Autoconf Macro Archive or
gnulib can be just as fine.  In fact, gnulib already has a "gnu-make"
module that adds a conditional which you can use to add GNU
make-specific code.

>> But POSIX.1.2001 doesn't specify wildcards for `make', either.
> Sure. But in the same way as new projects might reasonably assume a newer 
> version of POSIX than GNU Zile, unless there is POSIX standardisation of  
> newer make features, it will soon be desirable to use newer make 
> features. If one can't do that, what is the point of the extra GNU and 
> BSD make features?

Sure.  I don't argue you shouldn't use them.  Use them all you like.
It's just that I don't think automake should learn any major chunk of
GNU make syntax.  That feels wrong, and also I'm too lazy to do the
work.  But whereever GNU make syntax doesn't interfere with automake
syntax or semantics, by all means use it.  I also think that automake
should not be trying to prevent use of advanced features, after all
that's what -Wno-portability was added for.


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