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Re: Automake shooting in its foot

From: Akim Demaille
Subject: Re: Automake shooting in its foot
Date: 24 Jan 2001 16:39:01 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.1 (Crater Lake)

>>>>> "Alexandre" == Alexandre Oliva <address@hidden> writes:

Alexandre> Only if the macro is AC_DEFUNed.  

Well, since we're referring to AC_REQUIRE'd macros etc., they are :)

Or where you talking about the cost?  Then, yes, agreed, only for
AC_DEFUN'd macros.

~/src/ace % ace -i -t m4_define:define -t m4_defun:defun </dev/null | sort | 
uniq --count
   1250 define
    296 defun

(Hm, there is white line coming from somewhere :(  ).

Alexandre> In which case, we might attempt to match pro/epi in the
Alexandre> defn and insert the hooks before/after the actual DEFUN,
Alexandre> i.e., between pro and epi.

Oh, just that?  ;)

>> Finally, let me state things clearly: I'm doing this to help people
>> proceed with their bad habits, but from the beginning I was against
>> hooking on AC_PROG_CC etc.

Alexandre> It was the only way to achieve a design decision in
Alexandre> automake (automatic dependency tracking) and libtool
Alexandre> (automatic compiler configuration).  Sorry you didn't like
Alexandre> it.  

I understand the goal was noble and user oriented.  But I find it
extremely dangerous.  Since these are macros which are probably the
most AC_REQUIRE's the pro/epi is extremely important, and I'm sure we
don't really envision all the pitfalls around there.  Not to mention
the hair I had to keep in CVS Autoconf so that it still works today.

Alexandre> But unless autoconf supplies clean manners to do what is
Alexandre> needed, people (myself included, or should I say especially
Alexandre> myself) will find ways around the limitations.

I definitely agree.  I would certainly not diminish the responsibility
of Autoconf in here.  Nothing was prepared to that, and nobody is to
blame for the current state.  I apologize if I gave the impression I
was against people: I'm against the code.  I'm really hoping to open
the compiler checking macros to the needed hooks.  Or any other

The thing is, someday the Autotools must make tabula rasa and
synchronize, and listen to each other.

>> In fact, I am still against generic hooks because that's a bad
>> thing to do.  Nobody where ever imagine doing this in another
>> programming language.

Alexandre> Except those insane folks that came up with OO, right? :-)

Groumph.  Well, one point :)

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