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Re: gnulib-tool and autoreconf

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: gnulib-tool and autoreconf
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 06:10:28 -0700
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[adding autoconf list]

According to Colin Watson on 11/18/2008 3:35 AM:
> I find the advice in gnulib's documentation "Caveat: gettextize and
> autopoint users" rather difficult to follow in practice. I prefer to use
> autoreconf rather than having to track which tools and options I'm
> supposed to be using, but autoreconf invokes autopoint followed by the
> other tools without letting me interpose a call to gnulib-tool. Of
> course I could call autopoint and gnulib-tool myself and then call
> autoreconf with AUTOPOINT=/bin/true, but that's clumsy at best.

Indeed, gnulib is gaining in popularity, and the autoconf manual already
suggests using gnulib, so fixing autoreconf to (optionally) invoke
gnulib-tool seems like a good idea to me.  Please test that
GNULIB_TOOL=true does indeed make the gnulib portion of autoreconf a
no-op.  Then could you please add a NEWS entry, documentation in the
manual, and a testcase, and resubmit?  Also, you will need copyright
assignment on file first; more details off-list.

> Is it worth proposing something like the attached patch to the Autoconf
> maintainers? Should it be controlled by a command-line option to
> autoreconf? I prefer to run 'gnulib-tool --update' every time I
> regenerate my autotools files, but I have a feeling some people follow
> different practices.

Users of the gnulib script 'build-aux/bootstrap' (for example, coreutils)
still have to rerun ./bootstrap, because 'gnulib-tool --update' doesn't
work for that setup; but since bootstrap already takes care of gettext
issues as well as running autoreconf, then it shouldn't affect those
packages since they are already avoiding direct runs of autoreconf.  But
for users of 'gnulib-tool --update' (for example, m4), this does seem like
it makes mixing gettext and gnulib easier.

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

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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