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Re: autoreconf, autopoint, and gnulib

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: autoreconf, autopoint, and gnulib
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 07:38:20 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2010-08-04)

Hello Bruno,

* Bruno Haible wrote on Sun, Mar 06, 2011 at 10:26:18PM CET:
>   1. autopoint, in order to get the gettext infrastructure,
>   2. gnulib-tool, in order to override some gettext infrastructure .m4 files
>      with newer ones,
>   3. AUTOPOINT=true autoreconf --install
>      in order to regenerate configure and other files.
> I'm more and more thinking that it was a design mistake to make 'autoreconf'
> invoke 'libtoolize' and 'autopoint'. The task of fetching .m4 files omitted
> from a version control repository is conceptually a very different task than
> generating aclocal.m4, configure, and config.h.in files from other files;
> it ought to be done by a different program.

automake --add-missing also installs files, and it is called by
autoreconf as well (and cannot easily be omitted from the chain).

The design may not be the cleanest, but if you don't call autoreconf
with the --install argument, tools shouldn't fetch files, and if you
don't use --force, tools shouldn't override already existing files.

IMVHO the unclean part only comes into play as more than one of the
tools invoked want to mess with the same files.  Which is the primary
reason I've argued against having Libtool macros in gnulib BTW.

Maybe a better way out is to add hooks to autoreconf to make it more
flexible?  It could invoke gnulib-tool at an appropriate time (whatever
that may be)?


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