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Re: Distribution of m4 macros

From: Ralf Corsepius
Subject: Re: Distribution of m4 macros
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 11:20:29 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091014 Fedora/3.0-2.8.b4.fc11 Thunderbird/3.0b4

On 11/06/2009 10:55 AM, Christian Egli wrote:
Hi all

When integrating gnulib in liblouis a changed a few things with regards
to m4 macro location. In particular I added the following to


and the following to

ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS = -I m4 -I gnulib/m4

I also create an empty m4 directory. Now, autoreconf (--force --install)
places some libtool m4 macros, like libtool.m4, etc, in there.

When I do make dist the m4 directory is automatically included in the
tarball (without mentioning m4 anywhere in a as a SUBDIRS).
Make distcheck and everybody else is happy.

However, for an other dev, who is using libtool 1.5.22, autoreconf 2.59
and automake 1.9.6, make distcheck is failing because the m4 directory
is not included in the tarball.

Correct. The new behavior requires newer auto*tools.

Now, I could probably simply add m4 to the SUBDIRS and add an empty to m4. This might solve the problem, but this doesn't seem
to be standard practice and I'm trying to understand what is going on
What you describe had been standard practice when these tools had been current (many years ago)

How is the m4 directory included in the tarball? How does automake know
that it has to include it?
They are being traced.

Was this functionality missing in an older

And finally: Is the right way to fix this really to add the m4
directory to SUBDIRS?
You can choose
* Require newer auto*tools.
* Apply an approach similar to what you outline above (and stay bug-ward compatible)

If I'd were you, I'd use the former approach, combined with appropriate AC_PREREQ and AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([<automake version>]).


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