bugGNU troff - Bugs: bug #55461, user ./configure --docdir ignored

 
 

bug #55461: user ./configure --docdir ignored

Submitter:  Eric Bavier <bavier>
Submitted:  Sun 13 Jan 2019 06:43:13 AM UTC
 
Category:  General Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  Build/Installation Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Wed 12 Jan 2022 09:59:33 AM UTC, comment #1: 

original submission:

> In the 1.22.4 release of groff, a --docdir option passed to `configure' is ignored.
>
> This seems to be because the 'docdir' variable is set in Makefile.am:165, which effectively overrides the substitution done by the configure script (either of the default value as well as from the user).
>
> Is there a particular reason for the desire to override the default value by adding a version number, rather than leaving that to distribution packagers or users?


As far as I know it is because of a GNU directive issued 21 years ago.[1]

Since groff was requested to support the simultaneous installation of multiple versions, and the then-maintainer of groff, Werner Lemberg, supported the idea[2], it was done.

It does seem odd that there isn't more infrastructure in GNU Autotools to support this, though.  Maybe there is, and groff isn't using it correctly?

> If so, this may need to go to Autoconf, which doesn't seem to provide a good way to override the default substitutions for these core variables.  It would seem justified in this case, given that the GNU Standards for 'docdir' say that it may include a version number.
>
> Until the Autoconf support is fixed, I would suggest removing the override of 'docdir'.


I'm hesitant to do that, primarily because hacking around deficiencies in the GNU Autotools seems like a good way to accrue technical debt to me (in other words, cruft that will be so poorly understood that it won't ever get taken out even when it's no longer useful, and just make the project harder to manage).  The Debian packages successfully de-version the doc directory; perhaps
you could have a look at what they do?

Also, I apologize for it taking 3 years to follow up on this report.

[1] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/groff/2000-10/msg00105.html
[2] https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/groff/2000-10/msg00116.html

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project Administrator
Sun 13 Jan 2019 06:43:13 AM UTC, original submission:  

In the 1.22.4 release of groff, a --docdir option passed to `configure' is ignored.

This seems to be because the 'docdir' variable is set in Makefile.am:165, which effectively overrides the substitution done by the configure script (either of the default value as well as from the user).

Is there a particular reason for the desire to override the default value by adding a version number, rather than leaving that to distribution packagers or users?  If so, this may need to go to Autoconf, which doesn't seem to provide a good way to override the default substitutions for these core variables.  It would seem justified in this case, given that the GNU Standards for 'docdir' say that it may include a version number.

Until the Autoconf support is fixed, I would suggest removing the override of 'docdir'.

Eric Bavier <bavier>

 

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    Follow 2 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2022-01-12 gbranden CategoryNone General
    2022-01-12 gbranden SummaryUser --docdir configuration ignored user ./configure --docdir ignored

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