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autoconf/automake problem: simple testcase [was RE: autoconf/automake: just can't get it to work at all.]

Brian Dessent wrote:
> Dave Korn wrote:
>>   I'm having trouble with the cygwin auto*tool package and the wrappers
>> it puts around the different tool versions.  I've looked in the
>> following places 
> I think that they key point is that for automake, the automatic version
> guessing is no longer done, there are no wrapper scripts.  I don't think
> the WANT_ or FORCE_ stuff has any effect.

  Umm, it definitely *does* have an effect; see the differences it made to the
examples I posted in the previous case.  Is it possible I have some remnants
of the old autoconf stuff lying around?  I updated this morning and didn't see
any problems, and nor does cygcheck report any, and a quick browse through
/usr/share/autotools/ shows it clearly tests and responds to
WANT_ and FORCE_ env vars.

> You should be able to just run e.g. "automake-1.4" if you want that
> version.  When you run "automake" you get whichever version is currently
> set as the "alternative" -- see "man alternatives".  You can run
> "update-alternatives --config automake" to select which version the
> generic "automake" should run.
> Note that for autoconf, there is still "version guessing" so you should
> always be able to just run autoconf and get the right thing.

  It doesn't work OOTB.  Here's a simple testcase: on my system, which is
up-to-date as of this morning, and on which I've never ever run alternatives
to change any settings, you can't build current binutils when you configure
with --enable-maintainer-mode.

cd /tmp
rm -rf autotooltest
mkdir autotooltest
cd autotooltest
wget ''
tar xjf binutils-2.16.1.tar.bz2
mkdir obj
cd obj
/tmp/autotooltest/binutils-2.16.1/configure -v --enable-maintainer-mode 2>&1 |
tee conf.log
make all 2>&1 | tee build.log

...which gets as far as configuring and building the bfd subdir, but then
fails when it recurses into the binutils subdir, at the config.status
--recheck stage, with this error:

creating ./config.status
creating Makefile
creating doc/Makefile
creating po/
creating config.h
make[1]: Entering directory `/tmp/autotooltest/obj/binutils'
cd /tmp/autotooltest/binutils-2.16.1/binutils && aclocal-1.4
cd /tmp/autotooltest/binutils-2.16.1/binutils && automake-1.4 --cygnus
cd /tmp/autotooltest/binutils-2.16.1/binutils && autoconf
FATAL ERROR: Autoconf version 2.50 or higher is required for this script
make[1]: *** [/tmp/autotooltest/binutils-2.16.1/binutils/configure] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/tmp/autotooltest/obj/binutils'
make: *** [all-binutils] Error 2
dk@espanola />

  I don't get that.  I've got the default alternatives set, so IIUIC it should
have selected the most recent autoconf, shouldn't it?

  I imagine this is intended to work with everything in the default
installation state, but as you see it certainly doesn't WFM!

> This seems to be mostly documented in Chuck's announcement here:
> <>

  Yeh, I did see that post.  This is just the first time since last August
that I've had to regenerate an autogenerated file.

  The use of alternatives, while alluded to, is not exactly documented... it
would have helped if a sample command line was included, or at least the name
of the package mentioned; anyone might think they could configure autoconf by
running "update-alternatives --setup autoconf", for instance, which just exits
silently without doing anything or reporting any kind of error.

  I'm sorry.  I'm just confused.  I've read the announcement, I've tried the
simplest tests possible, as far as I can see automake and aclocal are
controlled by the new alternatives system but autoconf is still way out there
on its own somewhere, I really think the package is faulty.

[  For the moment, I'm working around this by hand copying my changes from to, but it would be nice to resolve!  ]

Can't think of a witty .sigline today....

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