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Feature Request: Administrator Install

From: David Masterson (damaster)
Subject: Feature Request: Administrator Install
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 14:50:17 -0800

I've been a user of GNU autoconf (and automake) for many years and find
it pretty easy to use most of the time.  Two areas, though, have always
been somewhat of a problem with autoconf for me as a user:

1.      Documentation of the options to pass to configure.  This is not
really a problem with the autoconf tool -- the package developers need
to do a better job at documenting the options.  Perhaps autoconf could
provide more in this area, but that's not what I'm after in this email.
2.      More importantly, there is no real standard to the package
installation process from an administrators perspective.  After I've
done the usual "configure; make; make install;" to install the package
and then remove the source code, I later have little to tell me what the
results of the 'configure' or 'make' commands were.  This can make it
difficult to answer the question like "which compiler/linker/library
version was used?"

What I'd like to see as a standard part of the output of 'configure' is
a Makefile with a "post-install" step that, as part of the standard,
copies the results of configure (config.log and config.status) to (one
of) the standard locations for the install (probably datadir).  As
mentioned above, this would help administrators in determining how tools
in their environment were configured and installed (particularly when
they were installed by one of the previous administrators).  If this is
something that developers have to put in themselves, then many different
things could result, so it would be much better if there was a standard
for this information to be put into where the package is installed and,
I think, autoconf should be one of the places where that standard is
implemented and followed.
Does it make sense why I see this as important and why I think it should
be implemented in the autoconf tools?
David Masterson

Attachment: David Masterson (damaster).vcf
Description: David Masterson (damaster).vcf

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