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Re: RFC: rename symbols to m4symbols

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: RFC: rename symbols to m4symbols
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 00:20:45 +0100

Hash: SHA1

Hi Eric!

On 18 Sep 2006, at 14:09, Eric Blake wrote:
"symbols" is an English word, but was added to m4-1.4o as a macro that
takes 0 arguments (even worse, the 1.4o manual documented the new macro,
but NEWS did not).  This has the potential to break preprocessing of
English text that used to work with m4 1.4.x, when someone upgrades and makes no changes to their command line. I propose renaming the macro to
"m4symbols" (and we should probably document a policy that any future
macro added in the gnu module that take 0 arguments either be in the "m4"
or "__" namespace, such as the __program__ macro added in m4 1.4.6).
m4sugar currently handles this case by mapping symbols to "m4_symbols", consistent with the other remappings it handles, so a rename visible in m4 2.0 would slightly impact autoconf; there are other macros that m4sugar
still needs to pick up from CVS M4, such as changeresyntax.

Agreed.  "symbols" has only been present in alpha releases thus far, so
I think changing it now rather than feeling the pain of having not done it
later is the best course of action.  Besides, one or two of the GNU M4
maintainers also have a commit bit for Autoconf ;-)

Also, is it worth putting the macros in the load module in a proper
namespace? "modules", "load", and "unload" are all English words, but at least with CVS m4, you have to explicitly request "-m load" at the command
line to enable them.

I suppose that it makes sense to do that with the "modules" builtin by
virtue of your english words with 0 arguments rule above, but I see no
compelling reason to change load or unload when they are perfectly in
keeping with the style of many SUSv3 builtin names.

- --
Gary V. Vaughan ())_. gary@ {,},address@hidden
Research Scientist   ( '/
GNU Hacker           / )={libtool,m4}
Technical Author   `(_~)_

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