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AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR vs m4_include

From: Brandon Invergo
Subject: AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR vs m4_include
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 22:11:15 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi all,

In the default example file that I provide with GNU
pyconfigure, I include the Python-related Autoconf macros (contained in
the 'm4' directory) via the AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR macro.  In all of my
testing, this has worked fine for me; the macros get included by aclocal
into aclocal.m4 without a problem.  

A minimal pyconfigure file might look like this:

    AC_INIT([foo], [1.5], address@hidden)
    PC_INIT([2.7], [3.3.2])

Currently a user is finding that autoreconf on his system is not calling
aclocal and thus the macros are never included.  Instead, he must use
m4_include.  He's using Autoconf 2.69 and Automake 1.11.6.

My question comes in two parts: why might autoreconf not be calling
aclocal?  Browsing the code, it looks like the only case is if
aclocal.m4 already exists and was not created by aclocal.  Is there any
other possibility?  The second question is, ultimately, which is
preferable: AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR or m4_include?  My gut says
AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR, but perhaps I've missed some recommendations about

I understand that I may be lacking some salient information regarding
the user's setup.  I've still got some questions out to him.  If I learn
anything else that's relevant, I'll add it here.

Thanks for your help!


Brandon Invergo

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