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Re: Dynamic AC_OUPUT

From: Gary Kramlich
Subject: Re: Dynamic AC_OUPUT
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 06:58:02 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20071008)

Ralf Wildenhues wrote:
Hello Gary,

* Gary Kramlich wrote on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 03:08:38AM CEST:
This python script also determines what directories should have
makefiles created and so on.  I've gotten far enough to trick configure
into outputting all of the make files.  (This is done by appending the
directories to ac_config_files before AC_OUTPUT).

Bad.  ac_config_files is not defined in the Autoconf manual.  Please use
AC_CONFIG_FILES([file ...]).
I know it's bad which is why I said I'm tricking configure :). Unfortunately it's the only way I could find that works, since AC_CONFIG_FILES and AC_OUTPUT will not expand a variable.
I was working on this in an already configured tree, and thought I had
it with the ac_config_files hack.  However, turns out automake when
being run from my autogen doesn't like this.  I realize it's just
reading in the contents of AC_OUTPUT, and tried to work around this by
specifying the directories to the initial call of automake.  However, it
drops out every time refusing to create depmod.

FYI, automake heavily uses something called "autoconf traces" which is
pretty much asking m4 "show me the args whenever the macros
AC_CONFIG_FILES, AC_INIT, ... are called".

Okay... And that's revelvent how? Also that should have been depcomp before, not sure what I was thinking when it typed it.
If examples are needed, please let me know so I can provide them.

Yes, an example would be good.
My current can be found at

The old version with the static AC_OUTPUT can be found at As you can see it's already becoming quite a pain to find a given config file, which is why I'm trying to automate it.

What I'm trying to solve is the problem of adding another plugin to this package and forgetting to drop it in as well as the issues of these seemingly never ending list. What I'm trying to accomplish is to move all the info about each plugin into a plugin.cfg xml file so that I can easily handle everything from build dependencies, to autogenerated documentation and so. Being able to determine at autogen/configure time what directories need to be output would go a long end to save quite a few headaches.

I mean I suppose I could do something crazy like run the python script, get the names of the directories, and then used sed to place them into AC_OUTPUT as a static string, but it would be preferred to only have to rerun configure and not regenerate it from


Gary Kramlich

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