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Automake 1.7f uploaded (third beta for Automake 1.8)

From: Alexandre Duret-Lutz
Subject: Automake 1.7f uploaded (third beta for Automake 1.8)
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 00:08:22 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi people,

This is the third beta release of the next version of Automake (1.8).
Please try it and help us fixing as much bug as possible.
If no important bug are reported against this version, I think it is
ready to be called 1.8.

I've appended the changes since 1.7d, as well as the updated full
NEWS since 1.7.9 below.

You can find this beta here:


or here:


Here are the MD5 checksums:

    1c10b661adfc549be6fd868045727335  automake-1.7f.tar.bz2
    88c4296fea4f4b543fc3c2970838f5d6  automake-1.7f.tar.gz

Please report bugs to <address@hidden>.

Changes between 1.7d and 1.7f:

  - More documentation about overriding automake targets (in manual and NEWS).
  - Work around a Texinfo 4.1 bug in html rules.
  - Make sure variables whose definitions have been wrapped by Automake
    on multiple lines such as in
      foo = ... \
    will not confuse HP-UX Make if @subst@ is replaced by an empty string.
  - Account for Makefile inputs being possibly AC_CONFIG_FILES output.
  - Do not append $(EXEEXT) do @substitutions@ when rewritting _PROGRAMS
  - Never disable rebuild rules for Makefile, even with AM_MAINTAINER_MODE.

New in 1.7f (since 1.7.9):

* Meta-News

  - The NEWS file is more verbose.

* Requirements

  - Autoconf 2.58 or greater is required.

* New features

  - AR's `cru' flags are now set in a global ARFLAGS variable instead
    of being hard-coded in each $(AR) invocation, so they can be
    substituted from configure.ac.  This has been requested by people
    dealing with non-POSIX ar implementations.

  - New warning option: -Woverride.  This will warn about any user
    target or variable definitions which override Automake

  - Texinfo rules back up and restore info files when makeinfo fails.

  - Texinfo rules now support the `html' target.
    Running this requires Texinfo 4.0 or greater.

    `html' is a new recursive target, so if your package mixes
    hand-crafted `Makefile.in's with Automake-generated
    `Makefile.in's, you should adjust the former to support (or
    ignore) this target so that `make html' recurses successfully.  If
    you had a custom `html' rule in your `Makefile.am', it's better to
    rename it as `html-local', otherwise your rule will override
    Automake's new rule (you can check that by running `automake
    -Woverride') and that will stop the recursion to subdirectories.

    Last but not least, this `html' rule is declared PHONY, even when
    overridden.  Fortunately, it appears that few packages use a
    non-PHONY `html' rule.

  - Any file which is m4_included from configure.ac will appear as a
    configure and Makefile.in dependency, and will be automatically

  - The rules for rebuilding Makefiles and Makefile.ins will now
    rebuild all Makefiles and all Makefile.ins at once when one of
    configure's dependencies has changed.  This is considerably faster
    than previous implementations, where config.status and automake
    were run separately in each directory (this still happens when you
    change a Makefile.am locally, without touching configure.ac or
    friends).  Doing this also solves a longstanding issue: these
    rebuild rules failed to work when adding new directories to the
    tree, forcing you to run automake manually.

  - For similar reasons, the rules to rebuild configure,
    config.status, and aclocal.m4 are now defined in all directories.
    Note that if you were using the CONFIG_STATUS_DEPENDENCIES and
    CONFIGURE_DEPENDENCIES (undocumented) variables, you should better
    define them in all directories.  This is easily done using an
    AC_SUBST (make sure you prefix these dependencies with
    $(abs_top_srcdir) since this variable will appear at different
    levels of the build tree).

  - aclocal will now use `m4_include' instead of copying local m4
    files into aclocal.m4.  (Local m4 files are those you ship with
    your project, other files will be copied as usual.)

    Because m4_included files are automatically distributed, it means
    for most projects there is no point in EXTRA_DISTing the list of
    m4 files which are used.  (You can probably get rid of
    m4/Makefile.am if you had one.)

  - aclocal will avoid touching aclocal.m4 when possible, so that
    Autom4te's cache isn't needlessly invalidated.  This behavior can
    be switched off with the new `--force' option.

  - aclocal now uses Autoconf's --trace to detect macros which are
    actually used and will no longer include unused macros simply
    because they where mentioned.  This was often the case for macros
    called conditionally.

  - New options no-dist and no-dist-gzip.

  - compile, depcomp, elisp-comp, install-sh, mdate-sh, mkinstalldirs,
    py-compile, and ylwrap, now all understand --version and --help.

  - Automake will now recognize AC_CONFIG_LINKS so far as removing created
    links as part of the distclean target and including source files in

    argument.  The latter can be used to override the default behavior
    (which is to abort).

  - Automake will exit with $? = 63 on version mismatch.  (So does
    Autoconf 2.58)  missing knows this, and in this case it will
    emulate the tools as if they were absent.  Because older versions
    of Automake and Autoconf did not use this exit code, this change
    will only be useful in projects generated with future versions of
    these tools.

  - When using AC_CONFIG_FILES with multiple input files, Automake
    generates the first ".in" input file for which a ".am" exists.
    (Former versions would try to use only the first input file.)

  - lisp_DATA is now allowed.  If you are using the empty ELCFILES
    idiom to disable byte-compilation of lisp_LISP files, it is
    recommended that you switch to using lisp_DATA.  Note that
    this is not strictly equivalent: lisp_DATA will install elisp
    files even if emacs is not installed, while *_LISP do not
    install anything unless emacs is found.

  - Makefiles will prefer `mkdir -p' over mkinstalldirs if it is
    available.  This selection is achieved through the Makefile
    variable $(mkdir_p) that is set by AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE to either
    `mkdir -m 0755 -p --', `$(mkinstalldirs) -m 0755', or
    `$(install_sh) -m 0755 -d'.

* Obsolete features

  - Because `mkdir -p' is available on most platforms, and we can use
    `install-sh -d' when it is not, the use of the mkinstalldirs
    script is being phased out.  `automake --add-missing' no longer
    installs it, and if you remove mkinstalldirs from your package,
    automake will define $(mkinstalldirs) as an alias for $(mkdir_p).

    Gettext 1.12.1 still requires mkinstalldirs.  Fortunately
    gettextize and autopoint will install it when needed.  Automake
    will continue to define the $(mkinstalldirs) and to distribute
    mkinstalldirs when this script is in the source tree.

  - AM_PROG_CC_STDC is now empty.  The content of this macro was
    merged in AC_PROG_CC.  If your code uses $am_cv_prog_cc_stdc, you
    should adjust it to use $ac_cv_prog_cc_stdc instead.  (This
    renaming should be safe, even if you have to support several,
    versions of Automake, because AC_PROG_CC defines this variable
    since Autoconf 2.54.)

  - Some users where using the undocumented ACLOCAL_M4_SOURCES
    variable to override the aclocal.m4 dependencies computed
    (inaccurately) by older versions of Automake.  Because Automake
    now tracks configure's m4 dependencies accurately (see m4_include
    above), the use of ACLOCAL_M4_SOURCES should be considered
    obsolete and will be flagged as such when running `automake

* Bug fixes

  - Defining programs conditionally using Automake conditionals no
    longer leads to a combinatorial explosion.  The following
    construct used to be troublesome when used with dozens of

      bin_PROGRAMS = a
      if COND1
        bin_PROGRAMS += a1
      if COND2
        bin_PROGRAMS += a2
      if COND3
        bin_PROGRAMS += a3

    Likewise for _SOURCES, _LDADD, and _LIBADD variables.

  - Due to implementation constraints, previous versions of Automake
    proscribed multiple conditional definitions of some variables
    like bin_PROGRAMS:

      if COND1
        bin_PROGRAMS = a1
      if COND2
        bin_PROGRAMS = a2

    All _PROGRAMS, _LDADD, and _LIBADD variables were affected.
    This restriction has been lifted, and these variables now
    support multiple conditional definitions as do other variables.

  - Cleanup the definitions of $(distdir) and $(top_distdir).
    $(top_distdir) now points to the root of the distribution
    directory created during `make dist', as it did in Automake 1.4,
    not to the root of the build tree as it did in intervening
    versions.  Furthermore these two variables are now only defined in
    the top level Makefile, and passed to sub-directories when running
    `make dist'.

  - The --no-force option now correctly checks the Makefile.in's
    dependencies before deciding not to update it.

  - Do not assume that make files are called Makefile in cleaning rules.

  - Update .info files in the source tree, not in the build tree.  This
    is what the GNU Coding Standard recommend.  Only Automake 1.7.x
    used to update these files in the build tree (previous versions did
    it in the source tree too), and it caused several problems, varying
    from mere annoyance to portability issues.

  - COPYING, COPYING.LIB, and COPYING.LESSER are no longer overwritten
    when --add-missing and --force-missing are used.  For backward
    compatibility --add-missing will continue to install COPYING (in
    `gnu' strictness) when none of these three files exist, but this
    use is deprecated: you should better choose a license yourself and
    install it once for all in your source tree (and in your code
    management system).

  - Fix ylwrap so that it does not overwrite header files that haven't
    changed, as the inline rule already does.

  - User-defined rules override automake-defined rules for the same
    targets, even when rules do not have commands.  This is not new
    (and was documented), however some of the automake-generated
    rules have escaped this principle in former Automake versions.
    Rules for the following targets are affected by this fix:

       clean, clean-am, dist-all, distclean, distclean-am, dvi, dvi-am,
       info, info-am, install-data-am, install-exec-am, install-info,
       install-info-am, install-man, installcheck-am, maintainer-clean,
       maintainer-clean-am, mostlyclean, mostlyclean-am, pdf, pdf-am,
       ps, ps-am, uninstall-am, uninstall-info, uninstall-man

    Practically it means that an attempt to supplement the dependencies
    of some target, as in

       clean: my-clean-rule

    will now *silently override* the automake definition of the
    rule for this target.  Running `automake -Woverride' will diagnose
    all such overriding definitions.

    It should be noted that almost all these targets support a *-local
    variant that is meant to supplement the automake-defined rule
    (See node `Extending' in the manual).  The above rule should
    be rewritten as

      clean-local: my-clean-rule

    These *-local targets have been documented since at least
    Automake 1.2, so you should not fear the change if you have
    to support multiple automake versions.

* Miscellaneous

  - The Automake manual is now distributed under the terms of the GNU FDL.

  - Targets dist-gzip, dist-bzip2, dist-tarZ, dist-zip are always defined.

  - core dumps are no longer removed by the cleaning rules.  There are
    at least three reasons for this:
      1. These files should not be created by any build step,
         so their removal do not fit any of the cleaning rules.
         Actually, they may be precious to the developer.
      2. If such file is created during a build, then it's clearly a
         bug Automake should not hide.  Not removing the file will
         cause `make distcheck' to complain about its presence.
      3. Operating systems have different naming conventions for
         core dump files.  A core file on one system might be a
         completely legitimate data file on another system.

    defined by Automake.  This means that any definition in the
    environment will be used, unless overridden in the Makefile.am or
    on the command line.  The old behavior, where these variables were
    defined empty in each Makefile, can be obtained by AC_SUBSTing or
    AC_ARG_VARing each variable from configure.ac.

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