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From Jim Jagielski <>
Subject Re: How to build 2.0 with autoconf
Date Fri, 21 Jan 2000 15:58:59 GMT wrote:
> So my questions:
> o Is the ultimate target a product close to the GNU model, which requires
>   only a minimum of non-POSIX utility support of the consumer, and
>   specifically doesn't require the consumer to support autoconf, m4, and
>   libtool?

Of course. It should be self-contained and require no more than the
present [cC]onfigure mechanism.

> o is it possible, even early in development, to supply a consumer-image
>   tarball, so testers can operate in consumer mode without the need
>   for autoconf, m4, etc.?  I glean from an earlier posting on this list
>   that CVS creates an obstacle to including a generated object such as
>   "configure" in the distribution.  If this is true, shame on CVS!

Testers? Sure. Developers? Nope.

> o Is it possible for me to run autoconf only on Solaris, where it's
>   relatively well supported, and use its purportedly portable
>   output on both Solaris and OS/390?

Yes, in theory. Sometimes it doesn't work because autoconf generates
complex sh code which overflows some buffers on old sh's and thus
the user may need to run it under bash or ksh. 

> My wish is that things remain easy for fringe developers; that they not
> be required to become core developers.  I'd like to be able to make a
> change to a C source file and submit a patch without the need to become
> competent in autoconf, m4, and libtool.  (What's libtool, anyway? :-)

Changes to the actual C source should be pretty much insulated from
the junk required for the configure/build process. Of course, sometimes
you need to wrap areas with certain OS specific tests, and then you
need to have the c/b process track that. In that case, patching
against configure is kind of bogus, since it should patch against, but at the least it gives people the hints on what
needs to be done and so we can back-port the patch. Not ideal, but

   Jim Jagielski   [|]   [|]
                "Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??"

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