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Re: Running autoconf and autoreconf without autotools in the path

From: Christopher O Cowan
Subject: Re: Running autoconf and autoreconf without autotools in the path
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 19:21:48 +0000

So, looking at closely at the autoconf package, it seems autoreconf and 
autoheader (both written in perl), have this feature, for one or more of the 
ENV vars that I would expect.

Autoconf on the other hand, seems to only check for AUTO4MATE, a cursory check 
of aclocal shows it isn’t checking for any of these.

I’m trying to deconstruct how this “should” work, or determine what the intent 
was.  (Hopefully, similar to what I’m after, but I’m not sure.).

Would appreciate any insight.

> On Jul 19, 2021, at 2:05 PM, Christopher O Cowan 
> <> wrote:
> Just curious if there is a feature within autotools to allow me run autoconf 
> and similar utilities via an absolute path, without the autotools suite 
> commands, in the PATH.  Maybe this already exists, and I just haven’t 
> stumbled across it?   
> I am aware, that this probably on enforced by convention, and that each 
> individual package developer could change this at will.  And perhaps this is 
> package/project specific.    I ran into this with rsync, just for the record.
> I’m trying to do build on a platform where I’m trying to keep the footprint 
> to the absolute minimum.    Most of my GNU tools including, autotools, use a 
> separate prefix (that is not /usr/local).   I’m always worried that if I add 
> the autotools, to my path, I have to thoroughly check for configure logs,  
> for artifacts that I may not want in my builds.   (Particularly with 
> something like pkgconfig in the mix).
> I’m envisioning a feature where certain commands might be specified by 
> explicitly via ENV vars, when I’m actually running autoconf or autoreconf.  
> LIBTOOLIZE, etc..    In my mind, it would be easy to replace occurrences of 
> automake in the templates, with something like 
> ${AUTOMAKE:-automake}, for example.  
> I think this would allow a bit more control over the various build phases, 
> including autogen and configure.
> It would also allow me to run different versions of autotools, as well.
> Regards,
> --
> Chris Cowan

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