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Re: RFE: configure -> dependency list on exit.

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: RFE: configure -> dependency list on exit.
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 13:33:13 -0500

On  4-Mar-2005, Hugh Sasse Staff Elec Eng <address@hidden> wrote:

| > it from their package system) or you have to embed this knowledge in
| > autoconf, which seems bad and would only work for a few tools in
| So where does it go, then?  People have said not to put it in a text
| file, because that is hard to maintain and takes no account of the
| dynmaic nature of configure.  You're saying it shouldn't go in
| autoconf.

I don't have a problem with a configure script pointing out that a
particular tool is needed, and I'm not arguing against a macro to help
out with this (see below).

My point is that I think that the messages should avoid telling people
how to install something, and the knowledge of where to find things
should not be embedded in autoconf itself (that is different from
putting some information in because the details of how
to install something is system dependent and may change over time.  So
it is probably not good to say "install the RPM file for flex" or "use
apt-get" or "go to the ftp site" because these tools and the ftp sites
tend to change (slowly, yes, but sometimes faster than the packages
that would print these messages).

FWIW, here is what I have Octave do at the end of its configure

  Octave is now configured for sparc-sun-solaris2.9

    Source directory:     .
    Installation prefix:  /usr/local
    C compiler:           gcc   -Wall -W -Wshadow -g -O2
    C++ compiler:         g++   -Wall -W -Wshadow -g -O2
    Fortran compiler:     g77 -O
    Fortran libraries:     -L/usr/ccs/lib -L/usr/lib 
 -lfrtbegin -lg2c -lm -lgcc_s
    BLAS libraries:
    FFTW libraries:
    HDF5 libraries:
    MPI libraries:
    LIBS:                  -lcurses -lm
    Default pager:        less
    gnuplot:              gnuplot

    Do internal array bounds checking:  false
    Build static libraries:             true
    Build shared libraries:             false
    Dynamic Linking:                    false
    Include support for GNU readline:   false

  configure: WARNING: command editing and history features require GNU Readline

  configure: WARNING: I didn't find bison, but it's only a problem if you need 
to reconstruct

  configure: WARNING: I didn't find flex, but it's only a problem if you need 
to reconstruct

Additional messages about f2c/f77, g++/gcc versions (if it is old,
there is no way it can build Octave), termcap/terminfo, gperf, less,
runtest, and gnuplot are possible.  All these messages are generated
"by hand" so a macro to help with this could be useful.

Take a look at

to see the code that generates these messages.

BTW, Octave's configure script has a fairly long history (first
written in early 1992) and so there may be a lot of things in it that
could be done better today.  Improvements suggested by autoconf
experts would be welcome.



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