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Re: config.guess and freedom (was: 1.8 and mkdir_p)

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: config.guess and freedom (was: 1.8 and mkdir_p)
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 13:21:01 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.5

Harlan Stenn wrote (meaning "Linux distribution" when he writes "OS"):
> help tool maintainers make choices
> about how things that are hard to find out otherwise (like OS-based
> choices).
> ...
> everybody who wants to make OS-level decisions has to code their own tests
> to figure out the OS name.

The point is: Don't make choices at all based on the distribution's name!
Not only it limits the freedom to create new distributions, it's also more
costly to maintain a list of features/commands/install-locations/etc.
depending on the distribution, than to write an autoconf test.

autoconf was developed 10 years ago when there were dozens of different
Unix variants, and it helped a lot. Now we have dozens of Linux
distributions, and autoconf helps again. Why would you need to check for
SuSE Linux in order to decide whether to install a startup script in
/etc/init.d or /etc/rc.d? Better test whether each of these directory
exists. Then you won't have to change your test the day SuSE Linux is
renamed into Novell Linux (just a hypothetical example).


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