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Autoconf 2.63b test release

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Autoconf 2.63b test release
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 06:37:45 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090302 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

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The GNU Autoconf team is pleased to announce the beta release of Autoconf
2.63b.  Autoconf is an extensible package of M4 macros that produce shell
scripts to automatically configure software source code packages.  These
scripts can adapt the packages to many kinds of UNIX-like systems without
manual user intervention.  Autoconf creates a configuration script for a
package from a template file that lists the operating system features that
the package can use, in the form of M4 macro calls.

Highlights (in no particular order): Configure scripts are now built using
shell functions, which leads to much smaller configure scripts.  Execution
time of both autoconf and built configure scripts have been improved.
Autotest added an experimental feature for parallel testsuite execution.
AC_REQUIRE has been made smarter, and fixed an out-of-order expansion bug
that had been present for more than 8 years.  See the NEWS excerpt below
for more details, and a couple of things to note when upgrading.

Please try this release out on your software, test it, report any problem
you have with the new features, or with compatibility for existing
packages.  Any issues not explicitly noted below are bugs that should be
fixed before a stable 2.64 is released.  Even if things are noted below,
do not hesitate to file a report to the address@hidden mailing list
if they cause undue inconvenience for you, that way there is a chance to
fix the worst issues before they are cut in stone.  Thanks.  The goal is
that 2.64 will be released no later than May 31st.

This version of Autoconf uses GPLv2+ plus an exception for its installed
executables, as described in COPYING; the exception covers the
implications of including an autoconf-generated script in your project.
Meanwhile, several source files within the Autoconf project are under
GPLv3+, as described in COPYINGv3; these files are used for building
and installing Autoconf, but are not present in the installed
programs.  The entire Autoconf project will move to GPLv3+ when the
exception statements have been reformulated in terms of the Additional
Permissions as described in section 7 of GPLv3.

Here are the compressed sources:   (1.7MB)   (1.3MB)   (1.1MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:

Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums:

cce7ed31aaa12eb80c233cb18ceeaabf  autoconf-2.63b.tar.gz
4ac60651a776e2ead9123357299a249f  autoconf-2.63b.tar.bz2
b7da5814dcdcf67bb233890c2a2f6981  autoconf-2.63b.tar.xz
cfd219e9a3916751be25ef36e20e8f56e26ae849  autoconf-2.63b.tar.gz
c8993a72625e38bf305d7cf03ef5e6eb99c77d00  autoconf-2.63b.tar.bz2
e6b6c8988d73b2219bdc6aa07e31bc96e2ad7f44  autoconf-2.63b.tar.xz

[*] You can use either of the above signature files to verify that
the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact.  First,
be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball.
Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify autoconf-2.63b.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver --recv-keys F4850180

and rerun the `gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Automake 1.10b


* Major changes in Autoconf 2.63b (2009-03-31) [beta]
  Released by Eric Blake, based on git versions 2.63.*.

** The manual is now shipped under the terms of the GNU FDL 1.3.

** AC_REQUIRE now detects the case of an outer macro which first expands
   then later indirectly requires the same inner macro.  Previously,
   this case led to silent out-of-order expansion (bug present since
   2.50); it now issues a syntax warning, and duplicates the expansion
   of the inner macro to guarantee dependencies have been met.  See
   the manual for advice on how to refactor macros in order to avoid
   the bug in earlier autoconf versions and avoid increased script
   size in the current version.

** AC_DEFUN_ONCE has improved semantics.  Previously, a macro declared
   with AC_DEFUN_ONCE warned on a second invocation; and out-of-order
   expansion was still possible.  Now, dependencies are guaranteed,
   and subsequent invocations are a silent no-op.  This makes
   AC_DEFUN_ONCE an ideal macro for silencing AC_REQUIRE warnings.

** The following macros are now defined with AC_DEFUN_ONCE.  This means
   a subtle change in semantics; previously, an AC_DEFUN macro could
   expand one of these macros multiple times or surround the macro
   inside shell conditional text to bypass the effects of these
   macros, but now the macro will expand exactly once, and prior to
   the start of any enclosing AC_DEFUN macro:

** AC_LANG_ERLANG works once again (regression introduced in 2.61a).

** AC_HEADER_ASSERT is fixed so that './configure --enable-assert' no
   longer mistakenly disables assertions.

** AC_INIT now takes an optional fifth parameter that can be used to
   set AC_PACKAGE_URL, a URL for the package's home page; the URL is
   used in `configure --help' and is also available via AC_DEFINE.

** Autotest testsuites accept an option --jobs[=N] for parallel testing.
   This feature is still in testing, and may not work on every
   platform, help in improving it would be appreciated.

** Autotest testsuites do not attempt to write startup error messages
   to the log file before that is opened (regression introduced in 2.63).

** Configure scripts now use shell functions.  This feature leads to
   smaller configure files and faster execution.

** Present But Cannot Be Compiled: Autoconf will now proceed with
   the compiler's result if a header is present but cannot be compiled.
   The warning is still printed, and you should really fix it by
   providing a fourth parameter to AC_CHECK_HEADER/AC_CHECK_HEADERS.

** Autoreconf added aclocal to the set of programs affected by the
   `autoreconf -I dir' option.

** The following documented m4sugar macros are new:
   m4_chomp  m4_chomp_all  m4_cleardivert  m4_curry  m4_default_quoted
   m4_esyscmd_s  m4_map_args  m4_map_args_pair  m4_map_args_sep
   m4_map_args_w  m4_set_map  m4_set_map_sep  m4_stack_foreach
   m4_stack_foreach_lifo  m4_stack_foreach_sep

** The following m4sugar macros are documented now, but in some cases
   with slightly different semantics than what the previous
   undocumented version had:
   m4_copy  m4_dumpdefs  m4_rename  m4_version_prereq

** The m4sugar macro m4_expand has been taught to handle unterminated
   comments and shell case statements.  As a result, it is used
   internally in more places, such as AC_DEFINE and AT_CHECK.  Most
   uses of AC_DEFINE and AT_CHECK should not behave any differently;
   however, it may be necessary to add double-quoting around
   unbalanced `(' where single-quoting used to be sufficient.

** The following documented m4sh macros are new:

** The following m4sh macros are documented now, but in some cases
   with slightly different semantics than what the previous
   undocumented version had:

** The m4sh macros AS_IF and AS_CASE can now be used in shell lists.
   The responsibility for supplying a trailing newline now belongs to
   the call site, but since most users did not add dnl, this generally
   results in fewer empty lines in configure.

- --
Eric Blake, on behalf of
The GNU Autoconf Team
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (Cygwin)
Comment: Public key at
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


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