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Re: automake

From: Ronald Landheer-Cieslak
Subject: Re: automake
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 09:40:49 +0200 (CEST)

On Tue, 15 Apr 2003 address@hidden wrote:
> Hello! I saw your name on the Automake list. Can I *please* humbly ask
> you about Automake? (I can't seem to send email to list. I don't know if
> there is something special I must do or what after I subscribed.)
You don't even have to be subscribed to mail to the list, normally..

I'v cc'd the reply to the automake list.

> (*) I noticed Autoconfig and Automake make a lot of symbolic links like
> COPYING, INSTALL, install-sh, missing and mkinstalldirs.  Why aren't
> these real files??
>From the manual:
File:,  Node: Invoking Automake,
     When used with `--add-missing', causes installed files to be
     copied.  The default is to make a symbolic link.

I don't know the reasons why the Automake authors chose to use symbolic 
links by default, but this option will for automake to make copies in 
stead, if you prefer.

> I cannot make a tarball package with symbolic links right???
Yes, you can:
>From the manual:
File:,  Node: Option Summary,
     When creating a `tar' archive, `tar' will archive the file that a
     symbolic link points to, rather than archiving the symlink.

Use `make install' if you want make to make you a source distribution - it 
will use the proper tar options for you.

> (*) I tried to add AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR(config) to hoping it
> would *create* the directory and put lots of junk there.  Instead,
> Autotools complained that this directory did not exist.  Must I create
> this directory myself and/or what?
This is more of an autoconf question (so I copied the response there as 

>From the manual:
File:,  Node: Input,
     Use the auxiliary build tools (e.g., `install-sh', `config.sub',
     `config.guess', Cygnus `configure', Automake and Libtool scripts
     etc.) that are in directory DIR.  
These are files you either write or copy into your project (usually the 
latter). The macro just tells autoconf where to look for the files while 
bootstrapping. Unlike automake, autoconf does not pull in missing files.

Automake will use this macro in the lookup to find the files, just as 
autoconf will, but when adding, IIRC, it will put them in the default 
location. You'll have to move them yourself, if you want to move them.

> (*) So what is the purpose of "mkinstalldirs", "install-sh" and
> "missing"??? 
>From the manual:
File:,  Node: Auxiliary Programs,
     This works around the fact that `mkdir -p' is not portable.
     This wraps a number of programs which are typically only required
     by maintainers.  If the program in question doesn't exist,
     `missing' prints an informative warning and attempts to fix things
     so that the build can continue.
     This is a replacement for the `install' program which works on
     platforms where `install' is unavailable or unusable.

> Am I expected to make these myself always?
No, they are distributed with Automake, and added with --add-missing

Please try the list(s) again, as you will probably find more expertise 
there than I can provide by myself.



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