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Re: [PATCH] update automake version to 1.11.6

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 4:04 PM, Mike Frysinger <> wrote:
> On 19 Mar 2015 15:59, Doug Evans wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 5:06 AM, Joel Brobecker wrote:
>> >> Debian stable (wheezy) and newer only have 1.11.6.
>> >> Ubuntu Trusty and newer only have 1.11.6.
>> >> Gentoo dropped <=1.11.5 2 years ago.
>> >> Fedora R17 was the last one to offer 1.11.x (it was 1.11.6).
>> >> Centos 7 doesn't offer any 1.11.x version.
>> >> OpenSUSE 12.2 was the last one to offer 1.11.x.
>> >> Arch Linux dropped 1.11.x 3 years ago.
>> >> Mageia 2 was the last one to offer 1.11.x.
>> >>
>> >> So anyone who readily has access to automake 1.11.[0-5] is using a two
>> >> year old distro that is no longer supported.  Lets use 1.11.6 as it's
>> >> the only 1.11.x version that is easily available.
>> >>
>> >> 2015-03-14  Mike Frysinger  <>
>> >>
>> >>       * README-maintainer-mode: Update automake to 1.11.6.
>> >
>> > FWIW, I tend to avoid using the auto-tools already installed, because
>> > I don't know what patches they might contain. Those patches can result
>> > in small differences which inexplicably show up when you regenerate
>> > some files after making some modifications. That's why I rebuilt
>> > them all from source, and use them when regenerating files.
>> >
>> > All in all, I'm not against switching to 1.11.6 but we should then
>> > regenerate all affected files now, and I would prefer it if that was
>> > done using an unmodified release rather than one that might have been
>> > modified by the distro.
>> +1 on avoiding distro releases.
> if we follow this logic, why aren't autotools part of the repo, either directly
> (like readline) or indirectly (git submodules) ?  requiring every developer to
> independently correctly download&build&install a custom version of autotools in
> their system is, frankly, unreasonable.
> in Gentoo i've made it dirt simple for people -- older versions of autoconf are
> available to emerge in parallel and you can select via `autoconf-2.64` or by
> exporting WANT_AUTOCONF=2.64.  but i don't think making Gentoo a requirement
> would be approved :D.
> -mike

IIRC, There used to be copies of at least one of autoconf/automake on
sourceware because there were local patches we needed.  They were
eventually deleted because there was no longer a need for them, and
when we upgrade to a new version it's easier to just get the release
from (or wherever).

It's happened before that distro releases of autoconf/automake
contained local mods that generated noisy diffs. A distro
autoconf-2.64 is not necessarily a real autoconf-2.64 (no local mods).
Requiring everyone to use the same version in order to avoid noisy
changes is desirable, and requiring people to download/install pure
FSF copies doesn't really seem that onerous.

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