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GNU Automake 1.16 released

From: Mathieu Lirzin
Subject: GNU Automake 1.16 released
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 23:00:14 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

We are pleased to announce the GNU Automake 1.16 minor release.

This release follows 1.15.1 which was made 8 months ago.

See below for the detailed list of changes since the
previous version, as summarized by the NEWS file.

Download here:

Please report bugs and problems to <address@hidden>,
and send general comments and feedback to <address@hidden>.

Thanks to everyone who has reported problems, contributed
patches, and helped testing Automake!


* WARNING: Future backward-incompatibilities!

  - Makefile recipes generated by Automake 2.0 will expect to use an
    'rm' program that doesn't complain when called without any non-option
    argument if the '-f' option is given (so that commands like "rm -f"
    and "rm -rf" will act as a no-op, instead of raising usage errors).
    This behavior of 'rm' is very widespread in the wild, and it will be
    required in the next POSIX version:


    Accordingly, AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE now expands some shell code that checks
    that the default 'rm' program in PATH satisfies this requirement,
    aborting the configure process if this is not the case.  For the
    moment, it's still possible to force the configuration process to
    succeed even with a broken 'rm', that that will no longer be the case
    for Automake 2.0.

  - Automake 2.0 will require Autoconf 2.70 or later (which is still
    unreleased at the moment of writing, but is planned to be released
    before Automake 2.0 is).

  - Automake 2.0 will drop support for the long-deprecated ''
    name for the Autoconf input file.  You are advised to start using the
    recommended name '' instead, ASAP.

  - The ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS special make variable will be fully deprecated in
    Automake 2.0: it will raise warnings in the "obsolete" category (but
    still no hard error of course, for compatibilities with the many, many
    packages that still relies on that variable).  You are advised to
    start relying on the new Automake support for AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS
    instead (which was introduced in Automake 1.13).

  - Automake 2.0 will remove support for automatic dependency tracking
    with the SGI C/C++ compilers on IRIX.  The SGI depmode has been
    reported broken "in the wild" already, and we don't think investing
    time in debugging and fixing is worthwhile, especially considering
    that SGI has last updated those compilers in 2006, and retired
    support for them in December 2013:

  - Automake 2.0 will remove support for MS-DOS and Windows 95/98/ME
    (support for them was offered by relying on the DJGPP project).
    Note however that both Cygwin and MSYS/MinGW on modern Windows
    versions will continue to be fully supported.

  - Automake-provided scripts and makefile recipes might (finally!)
    start assuming a POSIX shell in Automake 2.0.  There still is no
    certainty about this though: we'd first like to wait and see
    whether future Autoconf versions will be enhanced to guarantee
    that such a shell is always found and provided by the checks in

  - Starting from Automake 2.0, third-party m4 files located in the
    system-wide aclocal directory, as well as in any directory listed
    in the ACLOCAL_PATH environment variable, will take precedence
    over "built-in" Automake macros.  For example (assuming Automake
    is installed in the /usr/local hierarchy), a definition of the
    AM_PROG_VALAC macro found in '/usr/local/share/aclocal/my-vala.m4'
    should take precedence over the same-named automake-provided macro
    (defined in '/usr/local/share/aclocal-2.0/vala.m4').


New in 1.16:

* Miscellaneous changes

  - When subdir-objects is in effect, Automake will now construct
    shorter object file names when no programs and libraries name
    clashes are encountered.  This should make the discouraged use of
    'foo_SHORTNAME' unnecessary in many cases.

* Bugs fixed:

  - Automatic dependency tracking has been fixed to work also when the
    'subdir-object' option is used and some 'foo_SOURCES' definition
    contains unexpanded references to make variables, as in, e.g.:

        a_src = sources/libs/aaa
        b_src = sources/bbb
        foo_SOURCES = $(a_src)/bar.c $(b_src)/baz.c

    With such a setup, the created makefile fragment containing dependency
    tracking information will be correctly placed under the directories
    named 'sources/libs/aaa/.deps' and 'sources/bbb/.deps', rather than
    mistakenly under directories named (literally!) '$(src_a)/.deps' and
    '$(src_b)/.deps' (this was the first part of automake bug#13928).

    Notice that in order to fix this bug we had to slightly change the
    semantics of how config.status bootstraps the makefile fragments
    required for the dependency tracking to work: rather than attempting
    to parse the Makefiles via grep and sed trickeries only, we actually
    invoke 'make' on a slightly preprocessed version of those Makefiles,
    using a private target that is only meant to bootstrap the required
    makefile fragments.

  - The 'subdir-object' option no longer causes object files corresponding
    to source files specified with an explicit '$(srcdir)' component to be
    placed in the source tree rather than in the build tree.

    For example, if contains:

        AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS = subdir-objects
        foo_SOURCES = $(srcdir)/foo.c $(srcdir)/s/bar.c $(top_srcdir)/baz.c

    then "make all" will create 'foo.o' and 's/bar.o' in $(builddir) rather
    than in $(srcdir), and will create 'baz.o' in $(top_builddir) rather
    than in $(top_srcdir).

    This was the second part of automake bug#13928.

  - Installed 'aclocal' m4 macros can now accept installation directories
    containing '@' characters (automake bug#20903)

  - "./configure && make dist" no longer fails when a distributed file depends
    on one from BUILT_SOURCES.

  - When combining AC_LIBOBJ or AC_FUNC_ALLOCA with the
    "--disable-dependency-tracking" configure option in an out of source
    build, the build sub-directory defined by AC_CONFIG_LIBOBJ_DIR is now
    properly created.  (automake bug#27781)

  - The time printed by 'mdate-sh' is now using the UTC time zone to support
    the reproducible build effort.  (automake bug#20314)

  - The elisp byte-compilation rule now uses byte-compile-dest-file-function,
    rather than byte-compile-dest-file, which was obsoleted in 2009. We expect
    that Emacs-26 will continue to support the old function, but will complain
    loudly, and that Emacs-27 will remove support for it altogether.

* New features added

  - A custom testsuite driver for the Guile Scheme SRFI-64 API has been added
    to the "contrib" section.  This allows a more convenient way to test Guile
    code without having to use low primitives such as exit status.  See
    SRFI-64 API specification for more details:


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