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Autoconf caches AC_INIT arguments

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Autoconf caches AC_INIT arguments
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 19:17:42 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

The forthcoming Automake release is about to break the means I have been using to automatically version my package (without manually editing for the past 9 years. I am told to use m4 code in the AC_INIT arguments in order to supply package versioning information. This is what I am using:

AC_INIT(m4_esyscmd([scripts/ package_name]),
        m4_esyscmd([scripts/ package_version]),
        m4_esyscmd([scripts/ package_bugreport]))

Unfortunately, this approach works exactly once since Autoconf 2.69 is caching the computed arguments passed to AC_INIT. Running 'autoconf' or 'autoreconf' again does not result in an updated configure script. Running 'autoconf --force' in the source tree seems to work.

I am trying to get Automake to re-run Autoconf at the right times using the --force option, but thus far I have been foiled. My most recent attempt uses these additions:

# Additional files that 'configure' is dependent on
AC_SUBST([CONFIGURE_DEPENDENCIES], ['$(top_srcdir)/ChangeLog $(top_srcdir)/ $(top_srcdir)/scripts/'])

$(top_srcdir)/configure: @MAINTAINER_MODE_TRUE@ $(am__configure_deps)
        $(am__cd) $(srcdir) && $(AUTOCONF) --force

which seems like it should cause autoconf to be re-run with the --force option whenever one of the files listed in CONFIGURE_DEPENDENCIES is updated.

The configure script never gets regenerated. Even if I manually request to build the configure script in the source tree, the configure script does not get regenerated.

The configure script does not get re-generated and re-executed even though 'ChangeLog' has a newer timestamp.

Is there a way to eliminate AC_INIT argument caching when autoconf is re-executed?

Is there a way to assure that configure gets re-generated based on the dependencies listed in CONFIGURE_DEPENDENCIES as documented in the Automake manual section 16 "Rebuilding Makefiles"?

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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