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Newbie Questions

From: miki . shapiro
Subject: Newbie Questions
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 10:38:35 +0200

Hi all

I just became maintainer of a rather large-scale cross-platform project.
Our configure/makefiles are written somewhat awkwardly and
self-implemented, and after some deliberation and study, We decided to port
to autoconf/automake.

1. I am currently experimenting on a stock x86 RH7.2, and replaced the
default automake/autoconf with automake 1.7 and autoconf 2.54 (moving the
old /usr/bin/autostuff and /usr/share/automake/ out of the way while at

2. When doing tests on a hello-world project, I run into some warning
== snip
Use of uninitialized value in split at /usr/bin/automake line 5044, <GEN0>
line 87.
== end snip


my script looks like:
=== start snip ==
noinst_PROGRAMS = hello
hello_SOURCES = hello.c
=== end snip ==

and my looks like:
=== start snip ==
# Process this file with autoconf to produce a configure script.
AC_INIT(hello, 1.0, address@hidden)

# Checks for programs.

# Checks for libraries.

# Checks for header files.

# Checks for typedefs, structures, and compiler characteristics.

# Checks for library functions.

=== end snip ==

3. I get a Makefile, run make and get:

== start snippet ==
10:23|[Natasha] mikisu:~/testdir#make
make  all-am
make[1]: Entering directory `/home/mikis/testdir'
if gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I.     -g -O2 -MT hello.o -MD -MP -MF
".deps/hello.Tpo" \
  -c -o hello.o `test -f 'hello.c' || echo './'`hello.c; \
then mv ".deps/hello.Tpo" ".deps/hello.Po"; \
else rm -f ".deps/hello.Tpo"; exit 1; \
gcc  -g -O2   -o hello  hello.o
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/mikis/testdir'
== end snippet ==

What's with the
"if gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I.     -g -O2 -MT hello.o -MD -MP -MF
".deps/hello.Tpo" \
  -c -o hello.o `test -f 'hello.c' || echo './'`hello.c; \
then mv ".deps/hello.Tpo" ".deps/hello.Po"; \
else rm -f ".deps/hello.Tpo"; exit 1; \

section? Do I want it soiling our dev team's screens? I've never seen it on
GNU sw projects..
.. and I can't for the life of me figure out any defines/macros/whatevers
in there. If this is relevant to me
as a package maintainer, are there FM's to RT? If not, how do I ask make to
hide it?

4. Can someone explain what aclocal is? (or tell me what to go read? :-)

5. 4. Is there any good automake+autoconf tutorial other than


That aside, I would really love an A->Z walkthrough to RTFM - of putting a
package together, of what I need to package with my tarball (assuming not
all systems I deploy to have BSD install scripts and such), in short -
comprehensive packaging-oriented (and not automake-oriented) docs?


Miki Shapiro <address@hidden>
Coder - Unixophile - Boarder - Quake God
Aladdin Knowledge Systems
Tel: +972-(4)-8811403  ICQ: 3EE853
C++ Berkeley Burton Tribes
Have board. Will ride.

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