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Re: [RFC] Update to current automake/autoconf/libtool versions.

On Thursday, December 5, 2002, at 06:19 PM, Alan Modra wrote:

On Thu, Dec 05, 2002 at 02:55:38PM -0800, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
Perhaps --enable-maintainer-mode could be extended to specify a PATH
to use to find the tools.
It would need to be on a per-directory basis.  Something like

What if the rules generated by --enable-maintainer-mode were to pass a version number to each of the tools when using them to re-generate files? The version number passed would be the same version number used to generate the existing version of the generated files. Then the autotools could either dispatch to the correct version of the tool based on the version number, or
perhaps generate an error if the version numbers did not match. In order to upgrade the generated files in a directory to a newer version, the user would have to explicitly run autoreconf or run he appropriate autotools directly.

This would make it a lot harder for a maintainer to accidentally use the wrong version of an autotool when regenerating files in a directory. It would also make it possible to write a top-level script that would explicitly re-generate all of the files in a tree with explicitly specified versions (or at least verify that the versions being used were correct).

Regardless of how we choose to do it, though, I think it's important that maintainers be able to update individual subdirectories to newer versions of the autotools independently of each other (even if the way we choose to do that is to say "don't run global --enable-maintainer-mode, and be aware of the versions of the autotools you are using"). If we don't, the bar for updating versions of autotools is just too high. Trying to coordinate a simultaneous upgrade of even a simple change across the combined src+gcc repository is a huge amount of work --- if that's the only way to do upgrades, it seems much more likely that the upgrades will tend to not get done. The thought of even *touching* sid is daunting to me, much less the thought of trying to claim that I've changed all of its Makefiles and understand the changes.

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