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Re: error: token "@" is not valid in preprocessor expressions

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: error: token "@" is not valid in preprocessor expressions
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 02:27:24 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9

Hi Paul,

> all we need to do is to have unistd.h
> depend on Makefile.  And, once unistd.h depends on Makefile
> then it need not depend on config.status (as Makefile already
> depends on config.status).  Like this:
> --- a/modules/unistd
> +++ b/modules/unistd
> @@ -20,7 +20,7 @@ BUILT_SOURCES += unistd.h
>  # We need the following in order to create an empty placeholder for
>  # <unistd.h> when the system doesn't have one.
> -unistd.h: unistd.in.h $(top_builddir)/config.status $(CXXDEFS_H) 
> +unistd.h: unistd.in.h Makefile $(CXXDEFS_H) $(ARG_NONNULL_H) $(WARN_ON_USE_H)
>       $(AM_V_GEN)rm -f address@hidden $@ && \
>       { echo '/* DO NOT EDIT! GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY! */'; \
>         sed -e 's|@''HAVE_UNISTD_H''@|$(HAVE_UNISTD_H)|g' \

Such a change would have the effect that hand-editing a Makefile would
cause all gnulib *.h files to be regenerated and, with it, all *.o files
would be recompiled. However, hand-editing a Makefile is necessary in
two situations at least:
  1) to test a certain modification of compilation commands, before
     putting the changes into Makefile.am,
  2) to trace the effect of C compiler bugs, by compiling different
     *.o files with different compiler optimization levels.

I'm therefore vehemently opposed to such a change.

In fact, in the thread starting at
we developed some Automake tests for guaranteeing that everything is properly
rebuilt, and it turned out that
  1. some specific code pattern is necessary in the module descriptions, and
     it was implemented on 2011-04-03,
  2. GNU make is necessary as well.
But that's it.

So, if the reporter was using GNU make
    and the previous Makefile.in was based on gnulib 2011-04-03 or newer
    and the reporter did a make command in the top-level directory that
        recreated config.status before recursing into lib/ and then into
then the situation cannot have occurred.

If the reporter was not using GNU make, he should do so. It has become clear
through the tests in Automake that GNU make is a requirement for rebuilds to
be reliable.

If the previous Makefile.in was not based on gnulib 2011-04-03 or newer,
we need to do nothing; the problem is already fixed.

If the reporter did "make" in the top-level directory of emacs and it did
not rebuild config.status, even after configure changed, it needs to be
fixed in emacs.

If the reporter only did "make" in the lib/ or src/ subdirectory and not
in the top-level directory, then either he needs to change his way of working,
or a rule like

  ../config.status : $(srcdir)/../configure
        ../config.status --recheck

needs to be added in every subdirectory's Makefile. Automake generated
Makefiles contain such a rule, so maybe that's what is missing in

In memoriam Eli Cohen <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli_Cohen>

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