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Re: Arguemnts to configure

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Arguemnts to configure
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2018 10:40:36 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.0

On 10/2/18 10:15 AM, Sébastien Hinderer wrote:
Dear all,

Is there a way to add a new "directory category", in addition to bindir,
libdir, etc.?

Which directory are you thinking? Is it standardized somewhere, like GNU Coding Standards, Linux File System, or similar? If it is worthwhile, autoconf should be providing that directory for everyone rather than you having to add custom code to support it. Otherwise, why is your project special that it needs a directory that is not standardized, and can you fully justify why the existing directories are insufficient for your needs?

That said, commit a19743141 shows the addition of --runstatedir, as once such example of a globally-useful directory worth supporting, in response to GNU Coding Standards adding a variable for this directory in reaction to many distros preferring /run over /var/run when installing into /. And, I'm woefully low on free time, as that commit has not yet appeared in a released version of autoconf (2.69 predates it, and I really need to get 2.70 out the door).

And, more generally, is there a way to make a configure script accept
arguments that have a shape different from --with, --without, --enable
and --disalbe?

No, not without going against the GNU Coding Standards, which state that a configure script shouldn't need any other option prefixes. Again, what is the exact semantics you are hoping to add, and why are the existing mechanisms inappropriate for those semantics? A strong justification is needed, at which point maybe we can work on amending the GNU Coding Standards to document your use case for everyone to be able to share it.

Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3266
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