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Re: branch-1_4 cannot build Autoconf 2.59 any more

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: branch-1_4 cannot build Autoconf 2.59 any more
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 07:05:03 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20080213 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

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According to Ralf Wildenhues on 3/24/2008 6:52 AM:
| Right.  I still wonder whether the step to "fix" m4wrap to obey Posix is
| the right thing to do in a stable(?) series such as 1.4.x.
| Good thing the failure isn't silent, BTW.

2.59 is nearly 5 years old, and a lot has been done to autoconf in the
meantime.  And Autoconf's NEWS even states this as the first item for 2.60:

** Autoconf no longer depends on whether m4wrap is FIFO (as Posix requires)
~  or LIFO (as in GNU M4 1.4.x).  GNU M4 2.0 is expected to conform to Posix
~  here, so m4wrap/m4_wrap users should no longer depend on LIFO behavior.

So if nothing else, we can argue that we have been giving fair warning,
for quite some time now.

However, autoconf 2.60 is less than 2 years old, which starts to be pretty
recent (the gnulib rule of thumb seems to be worrying about active support
for known software bugs up to 3 years old).  I concede that it will
probably take some time before distros favor newer releases, but hopefully
the speedups realized by autoconf 2.62 and m4 1.6 will be driving factors
in the conversion.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Cygwin)
Comment: Public key at
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


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