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[platform-testers] Automake test release 1.13.1d (will become 1.13.2)

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: [platform-testers] Automake test release 1.13.1d (will become 1.13.2)
Date: Sun, 05 May 2013 00:42:25 +0200

We are pleased to announce the GNU Automake 1.13.1d test release.

This is the second beta of the bug-fixing release 1.13.2; the first
beta was released in January, and announced here:


(Sorry for the delay between these two betas, but real life intruded).

The 1.13.2 release is planned for next Saturday (May 11).

Automake 1.13.2 will be a bug-fixing release.  Its main purpose is to
re-introduce some obsolete m4 macros that had been removed too hastily,
bringing woes and problems for distro packagers; see:

The 1.13.2 release will also offer fixes for several bugs (both old and
new), and introduce new runtime (non-fatal!) warnings for a couple of
discouraged features in Texinfo support: use of suffix-less info files,
and use of Texinfo input files with '.txi' or '.texinfo' extensions.

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>.

Testing from distro packagers would be particularly appreciated.

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


New in 1.13.2:

* Obsolescent features:

  - Use of suffix-less info files (that can be specified through the
    '@setfilename' macro in Texinfo input files) is discouraged, and
    its use will raise warnings in the 'obsolete' category.

  - Use of Texinfo input files with '.txi' or '.texinfo' extensions
    is discouraged, and its use will raise warnings in the 'obsolete'
    category.  You are advised to simply use the '.texi' extension

* Documentation fixes:

  - The long-deprecated but still supported two-arguments invocation form
    of AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE is documented once again.  This seems the sanest
    thing to do, given that support for such an usage might need to remain
    in place for a unspecified amount of time in order to cater for people
    who want to define the version number for their package dynamically at
    configure runtime (unfortunately, Autoconf does not yet support this
    scenario, so we cannot delegate the work to it).

  - The serial testsuite harness is no longer reported as "deprecated",
    but as "discouraged".  We have no plan to remove it, not to make its
    use cause runtime warnings.

  - The parallel testsuite is no longer reported as "experimental"; it
    is well tested, and should be stable now.

  - The 'shar' and 'tarZ' distribution formats and the 'dist-shar' and
    'dist-tarZ' options are obsolescent, and their use is deprecated
    in the documentation.

  - Other minor miscellaneous fixes and improvements; in particular,
    some improvements in cross-references.

* Bugs fixed:

  - When the 'ustar' option is used, the generated configure script no
    longer risks hanging during the tests for the availability of the
    'pax' utility, even if the user running configure has a UID or GID
    that requires more than 21 bits to be represented.
    See automake bug#8343 and bug#13588.

  - The obsolete macros AM_CONFIG_HEADER or AM_PROG_CC_STDC work once
    again, as they did in Automake 1.12.x (albeit printing runtime
    warnings in the 'obsolete' category).  Removing them has turned
    out to be a very bad idea, because it complicated distro packing
    enormously.  Making them issue fatal warnings, as we did in
    Automake 1.13, has turned out to be a similarly very bad idea,
    for exactly the same reason.

  - aclocal will no longer error out if the first local m4 directory
    (as specified by the '-I' option or the 'AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS' or
    'AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR' macros) doesn't exist; it will merely report
    a warning in the 'unsupported' category.  This is done to support
    some pre-existing real-world usages.  See automake bug#13514.

  - aclocal will no longer consider directories for extra m4 files more
    than once, even if they are specified multiple times.  This ensures
    packages that specify both

        AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR([m4])       in
        ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS = -I m4         in

    will work correctly, even when the 'm4' directory contains no
    package-specific files, but is used only to install third-party
    m4 files (as can happen with e.g., "libtoolize --install").
    See automake bug#13514.

  - Analysis of make flags in Automake-generated rules has been made more
    robust, and more future-proof.  For example, in presence of make that
    (like '-I') take an argument, the characters in said argument will no
    longer be spuriously considered as a set of additional make options.
    In particular, automake-generated rules will no longer spuriously
    believe to be running in dry mode ("make -n") if run with an invocation
    like "make -I noob"; nor will they believe to be running in keep-going
    mode ("make -k") if run with an invocation like "make -I kool"
    (automake bug#12554).

* WARNING: New versioning scheme for Automake.

  - Starting with this version onward, Automake will use an update and
    more rational versioning scheme, one that will allow users to know
    which kind of changes can be expected from a new version, based on
    its version number.

    + Micro versions (e.g., 1.13.3, 2.0.1, 3.2.8) will introduce only
      documentation updates and bug and regression fixes; they will
      not introduce new features, nor any backward-incompatibility (any
      such incompatibility would be considered a bug, to be fixed with
      a further micro release).

    + Minor versions (e.g., 1.14, 2.1) can introduce new backward
      compatible features; the only backward-incompatibilities allowed
      in such a release are new *non-fatal* deprecations and warnings,
      and possibly fixes for old or non-trivial bugs (or even inefficient
      behaviours) that could unfortunately have been seen, and used, by
      some developers as "corner case features".  This kind of fixes
      should hopefully be quite rare.

    + Major versions (now expected to be released every 18 or 24 months,
      and not more often) can introduce new big features (possibly with
      rough edges and not-fully-stabilized APIs), removal of deprecated
      features, backward-incompatible changes of behaviour, and possibly
      major refactorings (that, while ideally transparent to the user,
      could introduce new bugs).  Incompatibilities should however not
      be introduced gratuitously and abruptly; a proper deprecation path
      should be duly implemented in the preceding minor releases.

  - According to this new scheme, the next major version of Automake
    (the one that has until now been labelled as '1.14') will actually
    become "Automake 2.0".  Automake 1.14 will be the next minor version,
    which will introduce new features and deprecation, but no backward

  - See discussion about automake bug#13578 for more details and
    background: <>

* WARNING: Future backward-incompatibilities!

  - 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 (where it will raise warnings in the "obsolete"
    category).  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 is expected
    to retire support for them in December 2013:

  - Future versions of Automake might 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.

  - 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').

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