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bug#13524: Improving user experience for non-recursive builds

From: Peter Rosin
Subject: bug#13524: Improving user experience for non-recursive builds
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2013 00:03:23 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Thunderbird/17.0

On 2013-02-04 19:11, Stefano Lattarini wrote:
> On 02/04/2013 06:33 PM, Eric Blake wrote:
>> So they aren't quite affected by configure, but they are dependent on
>> relative location, just like existing substitutions like @top_srcdir@
>> are dependent on relative location.
> Yes, but they are dependent on the relative position of an 'include'd
> file w.r.t. the currently-processed Makefile.am, not the "top-level"
> directory of the project.  Not a big deal, but still, another minor
> possible source of confusion, as in "all the same @subst@ in a Makefile.in
> are substituted with the same text, even if they come from an automake-time
> included fragment ...  except for the @am_reldir@ etc. substs"; not a big

To me, you are splitting hairs. However, I do see one strongish argument
against @address@hidden The short forms (@D@ and @C@) will potentially
break any project already doing AC_SUBST([C]) (or D). And @am_D@, @AM_D@
or whatever isn't all that pretty. So, we can't really use @am_reldir@,
because then we'll have to find some other notation for the short form.
And that would be confusing. Or drop the short form, but we all want
the short form, right?

> deal, but not a great example of cleanliness and consistency either IMVHO).

Having umpteen different replacement operators isn't all that minimal
and neat either IMVHO.

Anyway, summing up.

0. &{reldir}& is a pest to type.
1. {reldir} doesn't work, it conflicts with ${reldir}.
2. @am_reldir@ doesn't work, short form @D@ conflicts with AC_SUBST([D]).
3. {am_reldir} doesn't work, short form {D} conflicts with ${D}.

It is clear that we have to invent a new notation, much as I hate it.
Whatever notation we try to overload is likely have a conflict when
we mix in the short form.

So, %reldir% is best so far IMHO, but if Automake developers are
too easily confused or if we don't control that namespace, I'd go
with {{reldir}}.

Oh, while I'm at it I have a wish, {reldir}/@am_reldir@/whatever is so
much easier on the eyes compared to {RELDIR}/@AM_RELDIR@/WHATEVER. Can we
please skip the capital letters in the naming that is finally decided?
(using capital letter for the short form is fine though)


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