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Is the autogen directory still needed?

From: Glenn Morris
Subject: Is the autogen directory still needed?
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2013 15:12:45 -0400
User-agent: Gnus (www.gnus.org), GNU Emacs (www.gnu.org/software/emacs/)

We added the autogen/ directory ~ 2.5 years ago, when we stopped keeping
configure (at top-level) in the repository. I run a daily cron job that
keeps autogen/configure etc updated.

This requires no effort, but I think it has become pointless, basically
just making noise commits.

The main motivations for adding it, as I see it, were:

1) The developers on MS Windows needed to see any updates for
src/config.h (new defines etc) that might need to be copied to
nt/config.nt, and did not want to want have to run autoconf themselves.

2) People who wanted to build Emacs from bzr on POSIX platforms but were
for some reason unable to install (sufficiently recent) autoconf/automake.

Point 1) no longer applies. Bzr Emacs on MS Windows now requires
autotools, and nt/config.nt is no longer being updated.

Point 2) has never been very convincing IMO. It is very easy to install
autotools. The autogen/copy_autogen alternative is not 100% reliable.

The MS-DOS port is not a relevant factor AFAICS, because no-one builds
it from bzr, and when building from release tarfiles there's no need to
run autotools. If necessary, I could keep just autogen/config.in and
whatever MS-DOS needs (not configure).

I'd keep the part of the cron job that updates loaddefs files (which
does not happen nearly so often), and stop doing the autotools part.

Any opinions?

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