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Re: cygwin's autoconf?

Lapo got me started. "Blame" him ;-)...

Charles Wilson <> wrote in"> 

>> The client machine shouldn't need autotools or the know-how to use
>> them, right?
> Not necessarily.  If doesn't have AM_MAINTAINER_MODE,
> then the default behavior is for all of the "maintainer rules" to be
> active all the time.  That means configure searches for automake,
> autoconf, etc. and uses them to rebuild the infrastructure if
> necessary.  Now, even if the maint-mode rules never get invoked,
> during *configure* you might get "test" invocations -- and it looks
> like those test invocations are failing.

Autotools are SO broken, and been for so long. Yeah. This is why I go into 
hyperrant mode.

Lapo, the behavior you expect might be considered reasonable. But the ptb 
at Autotools Central have decreed that providing some theoretical package 
maintainer "Joe Blow" with the ability to update his package with one hand 
on the wheel while eating a sandwich and watching "Attack of the Clones" 
with 65% of his attention, was more important than preserving that 
principle (that Autotool Build Configurations should be robust and 
transparent for the end user, and that as Point One the user won't have to 
install Autotools herself).

AM_MAINTAINER_MODE is the Autotools ptb retroactive bandaid applied instead 
of recognizing that 'automation' had been allowed to run amok in Autotools 
and a huge step "backward" needed to be taken. Mostly I think it is the 
fault of Automake which needed the Autotools structure to be 
distorted, warped for it to have the 'hooks' it needed in order to work the 
way it (theoretically) does. The disfiguring of Autoconf, by this unhappy 
marriage with Automake, is pretty horrific.

I commmend you for putting effort into learning Autotools. As Gandalf says 
at one point, "it isn't comfortable knowledge [the lore of the Rings of 
Power]". Of course he also says "study not too deeply the arts and devices 
of the Enemy." Not that any individuals at AutoTools are our "Enemy"; Chuck 
and others here have in fact got considerable amounts of code they've 
written in Autotools by now. But I still cannot shake the feeling I am 
confronted with something warped and a bit malevolent, when I contemplate 

At the very LEAST, something that does what AM_MAINTAINER_MODE causes, 
should have been the *default* for all autotool'd packages, and only by 
significant contortions should it have been made possible to cause all that 
"default" behavior to get activated. But instead it's the other way around, 
and users are at the mercy of package maintainers' ignorance or awareness 
of the importance of (at the very MINIMUM) placing AM_MAINTAINER_MODE in 
their configuration file.

   Soren A

What do Internet Mailing Lists and crowded neighborhoods have in
common? Both will either drive you out or teach you how to ignore
barking dogs.

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