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Re: Patch to check for required programs when building from source check

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: Re: Patch to check for required programs when building from source checkout
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 08:59:22 +0200

Ed Avis <address@hidden> wrote:
> Jim Meyering <jim <at> meyering.net> writes:
>>>A few tools are required to build coreutils from a git checkout, but
>>>not checked in a friendly way.
>>The newer automake-1.10a is actually required.
> Ah, ok, it could do with a comment because at first it appears that 1.10.1
> should be newer than 1.10a.

That's a common misconception.
When in doubt, use sort -V from the latest coreutils:

    $ printf 'automake-1.10%s\n' .1 a|sort -V

That demonstrates 1.10a is considered the newer version.

> [checks for autopoint, aclocal, and makeinfo]
>>I like the idea of automating these checks, but can't use those changes
>>as-is, since bootstrap is actually used more generally (it's home is in
> If you can't change the bootstrap script, then maybe include it as
> bootstrap.vanilla and then bootstrap is a small script that checks for the
> extra tools and then runs bootstrap.vanilla.

I don't want to maintain yet another package-specific file/script,
so I've been toying with the idea of adding generic code to
bootstrap that would automatically determine more prerequisites
like this.  E.g., if it sees that gperf will be used by this
package, then it'd ensure it's usable.  Likewise for help2man,
bison/yacc, and any other tool that's required for a bare,
just-cloned repository.

Patches welcome ;-)
If this thread appears to die, you're welcome to ping me about it.

>>Besides, this is the purpose of the README-hacking file.
>>gperf should not be required when building from a tarball,
>>so its absence shouldn't make configure fail.
> OK, that's another thing better checked in the bootstrap script.

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