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Re: to conditionally test, or not to conditionally test?

From: Keith MARSHALL
Subject: Re: to conditionally test, or not to conditionally test?
Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 13:38:28 +0100

Stepan Kasal wrote:
> It's hard to tell whether a macro calls AC_REQUIRE.  (It can call it
> indirectly.)
> A real fix will be to use shell functions to reimplement AC_REQUIRE,
> in autoconf-3.

Are you now saying that shell functions are safe to use in a portable
fashion?  That would contradict the advice given in "info autoconf",
node "Portable Shell":--

>      You should not use shell functions, aliases, negated
>   character classes, or other features that are not found in all
>   Bourne-compatible shells; restrict yourself to the lowest common
>   denominator.

In this same paragraph, I also see the advice:--

>   Also, include a space after the exclamation point in interpreter
>   specifications, like this:
>      #! /usr/bin/perl
>   If you omit the space before the path, then 4.2BSD based systems
>   (such as DYNIX) will ignore the line, because they interpret `#! /'
>   as a 4-byte magic number.

I recently queried this advice, in respect of its application in the
groff project, and was advised that it is nonsense.  I posted that
response here, but as yet have seen no comment.

If such advice in autoconf documentation truly is nonsense, then should
it not be expunged?

Best regards,

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