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autoconf (was: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [ANNOUNCE] tlator-0.1 initial releas

From: Sascha Silbe
Subject: autoconf (was: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] [ANNOUNCE] tlator-0.1 initial release)
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 12:43:59 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Wed, Sep 17, 2003 at 04:54:11PM +0400, Samium Gromoff wrote:

Autoconf is different,
Unfortunately not.

it is aimed at portability,
Depends on how you define portability. If you include data transparency, it certainly isn't portable. Newer versions choke on paths containing a comma, so e.g. building in ,,build-something won't work. They are not going to fix this themselves (and I do not have enough time to learn m4 and try to understand how autoconf works internally). [1]

It's a nightmare for crosscompilation. They're going to make it even worse because it's the easier path. [2] The language used (m4) is hard to grok and makes it easy to write buggy macros. Quoting rules are hard to understand.

So my recommendation is: If you can avoid using autoconf, do it.
AFAIR there are alternatives, but I had no need for one in the past (for all my projects a simple Makefile suffices), so I did not evaluate them.

[2] (whole thread, some mails seem to be missing in the archive)

CU/Lnx Sascha

Registered Linux User #77587 (

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