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tr and automake

From: James Laird
Subject: tr and automake
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 13:11:31 -0500 (CDT)

Hello, all.

My package ( has historically tested that the tr 
utility works correctly at configure time.  Apparently there are two 
kinds of tr which expect slightly different syntax for their input.

We have now encountered a platform where setting the path to point to the 
"correct" tr confuses the path to some libraries that the compiler needs.  
What we'd like to do is to set an environment variable for tr rather than 
changing the global path.  We can change our own configure tests, but it 
looks like aclocal.m4 uses tr by name.

If aclocal is happy with either version of tr, so much the better.  If
not, I'd like to suggest that it replace "tr" with the environment
variable "$TR" and add a test in configure to ensure that the correct
version of tr is being used.  Such a test might look like this:

AC_MSG_CHECKING([if tr works])
if test "X${TR}" = "X"; then
TR_TEST="`echo Test | ${TR} 'a-z,' 'A-Z '`"
if test "${TR_TEST}" != "TEST"; then
  AC_MSG_ERROR([tr program doesn't work])

   James Laird

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