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From Tollef Fog Heen <tfh...@err.no>
Subject Re: AC_CANONICAL_SYSTEM overwrites $@
Date Thu, 15 Jun 2006 08:49:59 GMT

dev@apr people:  This is Debian bug report #372179, available at
http://bugs.debian.org/372179 .  Autoconf sometime after 2.59 changed
the behaviour of AC_CANONICAL_SYSTEM in a way that mangles $@.  This
causes problems for APR_PARSE_ARGUMENTS which makes for hilarious
build failures when using --includedir and --with-layout (as done in
the Debian packages of apr and apr-util, for instance)

* Ben Pfaff 

| I've seen a flurry of Debian BTS emails around this bug, but none
| of them have made it clear to me what I should do about it.

I'm unsure what the right fix is, apart from «make autoconf stop
mangling $@» or «make apr and apr-util not need to reparse $@».

| In the long term, I suspect that the Autoconf macros in the
| apr-util package should be fixed, and that autoconf-doc should
| document that $@ may be changed by some macros.  In the short
| term, I'm willing to help out, if necessary, by putting some kind
| of Debian-specific patch that saves and restores the positional
| parameters (if indeed there's a way to do that) around
| AC_CANONICAL_SYSTEM.

Apart from the «ewww» factor, why can't it do its work in a subshell
and echo back the parameters to be set and those get eval-ed by
configure?

I too suspect that the apr macros should be fixed to not rely on $@,
but this was a sudden and unannounced change in the Debian packages
without a significant bump in the version number.  (Personally, I'd
treat this as an API bump and increase version number and possibly
package name similarly, but I guess not everybody'll agree with me
there.)

Also, please Cc me on replies as I don't read bug-autoconf or
dev@apr.

-- 
Tollef Fog Heen                                                        ,''`.
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are      : :' :
                                                                      `. `' 
                                                                        `-  

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