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Re: [PATCH 0/2] First steps in making autoconf ensure a POSIX shell

From: Adrian Bunk
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] First steps in making autoconf ensure a POSIX shell
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:39:31 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 03:21:52PM +0100, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> On 11/10/2012 02:58 PM, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 02:07:38PM +0100, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> > With all that gets blamed (sometimes rightfully and sometimes wrongly)
> > on autoconf/automake/libtool, portability was so far always a plus point.
> >
> True, but "portability" != "maximum portability".  The benefits of the
> first still outweight its costs; this is not true for the second IMHO.

I am a fan of getting the data before making the decision.

If we know first what features are a problem on which systems,
then we have a better basis for a decision.

> >> Being able to seamlessly work with Clang on Mac OS X as well as with
> >> the Sun C compiler on Solaris 10 is important.  Being able to work
> >> with gcc 2.95 on a Solaris 7 system is irrelevant (at least if the
> >> Autotools want to remain mainly concerned up with the GNU philosophy
> >> of promoting software freedom in a practical way).
> > 
> > K&R compilers are no longer supported.
> >
> You are not referring to the modern Sun C compilers (those from
> Sun Studio), right?  Because I can assure you there is nothing "K&R"
> about them ;-)

No, I was just referring to something completely ancient that was still 
relevant in the mid-1990s, but is no longer supported by autoconf.

> > gcc 2.95 on Solaris 7 is likely no longer used.
> > 
> > But I just read the "Shell Substitutions" section of the autoconf info 
> > page, and according to that the last stable version of pdksh has shell 
> > substitution bugs.
> >
> > Are the relevant patches in all pdksh binaries used today?
> >
> Please understand I'm not proposing to reject a shell just because it has
> a bug in some tricky corner case...  Otherwise, we should reject Bash and
> dash as well :-)

     Also, `pdksh' 5.2.14 mishandles some WORD forms.  For example if
     `$1' is `a/b' and `$2' is `a', then `${1#$2}' should yield `/b',
     but with `pdksh' it yields the empty string.

> > If we would e.g. end up with GNU software no longer compiling on a still 
> > used OpenBSD release [1] that would be a bad thing.
> >
> Agreed.
> Regards,
>   Stefano



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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