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Re: Getting srcdir in script executed using m4_esyscmd in AC_INIT

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: Getting srcdir in script executed using m4_esyscmd in AC_INIT
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2021 08:45:04 -0600 (CST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.20 (GSO 67 2015-01-07)

On Tue, 5 Jan 2021, Zack Weinberg wrote:

Something I found which surprised me is that Automake has added a GNU
COPYING file to my non-GNU non-GPL package.  Once the file appeared in
the source directory, it seems that it continued to be used and
included in spite of the Automake options provided.

While I see more detail sprinkled around the generated files, it seems
that this COPYING file may be the biggest issue.

Hmm.  If you remove COPYING, make sure that you have `foreign` in
either `AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS` or the options list passed to
`AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE`, and then re-run automake --add-missing, does
COPYING come back?  My understanding is that automake --add-missing is
supposed to install a copy of the GPL *only if* it's in `gnu` mode and
can't find any other statement of licensing.

The COPYING file did not come back. I now notice that an INSTALL file was added as well.

As far as I am aware, at no point were the Automake options not expressed in some way (via or but I used Autotools automatic maintenance after editing files (via make) and perhaps they were added during a transition point.

Regardless, updating a project to use the recommended AC_INT strategy is not without some danger since it is more rigid than the previous shell-variable based approach. This is particularly the case for the project version and how the project version is applied when creating the tarball.

Bob Friesenhahn,
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,
Public Key,

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