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Re: Automake, Autoconf and POSIX shells (was: Re: GraphicsMagick Automak

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: Automake, Autoconf and POSIX shells (was: Re: GraphicsMagick Automake TAP)
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 14:46:01 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Sun, 19 Aug 2012, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
Under Solaris 10, I found that some fancy ksh-style syntax was
failing due to use of /bin/sh.

You mean in your test scripts, or in the Automake-provided driver
scripts?  The latter would be an Automake bug, while the former would
be a user error: if you want to use POSIX features in your scripts,
it's *your* responsibility to ensure they're run through a capable
enough shell; Automake leaves the developer full freedom (and thus
full burden) to decide which shell or interpreter (if any) must be
used to run his tests.

This was in my own test scripts. Certainly it is possible that a user TAP script might be written in something like guile, Tcl, Lua, Java, etc., rather than sh so Automake's TAP test driver can not automatically anticipate the test implementation approach.

For my test scripts, I have the option of either coding everything
to work with the weakest shell, or else hoping to find a better
shell on the system without the kind assistance of Automake.

Yes (I'd personally go with the second option BTW).  And I believe
this is not Automake's fault -- I believe it should be Autoconf to

It is true that as systems evolve, they typically offer more capable shells, even if they are not called /bin/sh.

My software's test suite does not need to work on systems more than 12 years old.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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