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Re: Autoconf patch to catch problems with spaces etc. in file names

From: Hans Aberg
Subject: Re: Autoconf patch to catch problems with spaces etc. in file names
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 19:12:17 +0100

At 17:08 -0800 2005/03/22, Paul Eggert wrote:
 > Perhaps there should be a test on pathname spaces.

That sounds reasonable, since more and more people are installing Bison
on hosts like MacOS X where spaces in file names are common.

I am thinking along those lines, as well. Another thing that may happen is that more UNIX newbies will do installs. So perhaps those generic installation notes should be clarified. Specifically, GNU installs seem use the BSD convention to put installs in the /usr/local directory. On the Mac platform, this is not in the system-wide path. So one will have to know how to include it. I figure that the intended installing procedure might be like this:
1. Try to compile and test the package in your local directory.
2. If that works, log in as superuser, unpack a new copy of the distribution in /usr/local/src. Then "make", "make check", "make install", "make clean", etc. 3. Set the system wide path to include /usr/local/bin, plus something similar for the man and info pages.

The Mac OS X cleverly hides away the UNIX basis in its Mac GUI interface (called Aqua), so there is no way one can access those UNIX directories from that GUI. So one has to bring up the terminal window, and actually log in as superuser in order to make a proper install. This will put strain on all those not used to do UNIX sysop work. (If somebody is interested in how Mac OS X is integrated with BSD UNIX, there are some tech specs at
A new thing with Mac OS X.3 "Panther", is that comes with an integrate X-Windows X11R6, which can be installed as an option. It works quite nicely, in fact.)

However, this is an Autoconf issue, not a Bison issue, since the code
in question is generated by Autoconf.  I installed the following patch
to Autoconf so that it handles file names a bit more robustly (e.g.,
allows commas in them) and diagnoses cases where it can't handle them
(e.g,, spaces or backslashes in file names).

Sounds good to me. One should be aware of that if one is using ones own name when installing the Mac OS X, then one ends up with a UNIX home directory with space in its name! But the problem I had, seemed to only be the problem of the path relative the home directory, it would probably not have mattered. But a proper error message seems to be in place.
  Hans Aberg

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