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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Further evidence of configure's shortcomings
Date Sat, 20 Apr 1996 05:06:08 GMT
Robert S. Thau wrote:
>   Yes, this is true. The thing is that with the existing configuration system
>   I can easily track down the problem and fix it. Configure makes that _much_
>   harder.
> Ummm... I'm not sure I see this; could you go into a bit more detail about
> how exactly configure makes it more difficult to track down machine-dependant
> problems?  (NB that even with our current setup, there are a fair number of
> NEEDS_FOO flags and the like that are set for various machines by conf.h, and
> you need to examine it to find out what their values are in order to see what
> code is actually #ifdeff'ed in or out).

It makes it more difficult because it is almost impossible to hand edit
configure. The beast is completely unreadable.

So, to fix the alloca problem, I first check where it is called. In one place,
getopt.c, as far as I can see. But that already includes alloca.h (maybe). So
what gives? So I try putting "#include <alloca.h>" in config.h and it cures
the problem. Huh? How do I cure it properly? I have no idea.

Here's the code from getopt.c that determines whether to include alloca.h:

#ifdef __GNUC__
#define alloca __builtin_alloca
#else /* not __GNUC__ */
#if defined (HAVE_ALLOCA_H) || (defined(sparc) && (defined(sun) || (!defined(USG
) && !defined(SVR4) && !defined(__svr4__))))
#include <alloca.h>
#ifndef _AIX
char *alloca ();
#endif /* alloca.h */
#endif /* not __GNUC__ */

Since the platform is not sensed, unless I happen to know a way to detect
Irix I can't even fix this (if indeed this is the bit that needs fixing).

I just can't see how this is supposed to be an improvement.



> rst

Ben Laurie                  Phone: +44 (181) 994 6435
Freelance Consultant and    Fax:   +44 (181) 994 6472
Technical Director          Email:
A.L. Digital Ltd,           URL:
London, England.

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