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GNU hello helpless autoconfigury

From: Alexandre Duret-Lutz
Subject: GNU hello helpless autoconfigury
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 02:00:38 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

I haven't seen any answer to Jim's suggestion to use close_stdout().

Anyway the mention of GNU hello revived some old frustration of
mine.  My problem is that the manual of Automake quotes the
setup of hello 1.3.11.  This version was probably the first
version that supported Automake, but it is not available on the
web and the syntax we promote has evolved since then.

I would like to update the Automake manual to quote a newer
version of GNU hello, but I cannot do this presently because the
setup of GNU hello 2.1.1 is quite messy.

For instance configure.ac calls some obsolete macros. (Some of
which are reported among the 34 lines of warnings output by
`autoconf -Wall; automake -Wall') Apparently, someone ran
autoupdate to update configure.ac, but forgot to cleanup the
file afterwards: it still contains an explicit obsolete message,
and some useless syntax ([]).

Besides these issues, configure.ac and **/Makefile.am also
contain many confusing comments (like commented instructions, or
complaints against old versions such as Automake 1.0), and
incantations that seems to have been inherited from some distant
past and have no purpose today (AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS in
configure.ac, MAINT_CHARSET in Makefile.am)

In the present state we can hardly give GNU hello as an example
to new autotools users.  I'm probably overly picky, but I'd
expect GNU hello to be the simplest and cleanest package

Is GNU hello actually maintained?  Is help about this needed?

An alternative would be that Automake supplies its own
hello-world sub-package.  That would guaranty that the example
follows the latest autotools mode.  However that would duplicate
the work, since GNU hello ought to reflect this style anyway;
I'd like to avoid that if possible.
Alexandre Duret-Lutz

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