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Re: automake parallel install

From: Steve M. Robbins
Subject: Re: automake parallel install
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 19:24:36 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.25i

On Sun, Jan 13, 2002 at 11:45:12AM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> Alexandre Duret-Lutz <address@hidden> writes: 

> > Maybe `automake' should not be a symlink but a script that
> > select the right automake version to use for a project.
> I heard Debian has had poor results with that, but I haven't tried it
> myself. It's probably hard to get right unless you can find some
> really reliable way to pick an automake. It would be neat if so.

Debian has used such a scheme for "autoconf" since about last May.  I
was initially horrified at the idea, but it works a lot better than
you might think.  

The autoconf script will run version 2.13 unless it can detect some
feature that indicates autoconf 2.5x is used:

 * a new option is given, such as --trace, or
 * is used, or
 * AC_PREREQ() specifies version > 2.13

The same wrapper is used for "autoconf", "autoheader", and "autoreconf".

In my experience, the heuristics work decently well.  After fixing my
macros, I can always force version 2.50 using AC_PREREQ in

Debian's automake packages don't use this scheme, but I don't see why
it shouldn't work just as well.  Automake could, for example, scan the
value of AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS to see whether to invoke automake-1.4 or


by Rocket to the Moon,
by Airplane to the Rocket,
by Taxi to the Airport,
by Frontdoor to the Taxi,
by throwing back the blanket and laying down the legs ...
- They Might Be Giants

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