helpAutoconf - Support: sr #108182, [doc] Clarification for behaviour...


sr #108182: [doc] Clarification for behaviour of AC_CHECK_FILES

Submitter:  Christophe CURIS <lobotomy>
Submitted:  Sat 17 Nov 2012 05:45:59 PM UTC
Category:  None Priority:  5 - Normal
Severity:  2 - Minor Status:  Done
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Closed Operating System:  None
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Fri 10 Jul 2020 03:52:44 PM UTC, comment #3: 

Closing; this patch will be included in the upcoming 2.70 release.

Zack Weinberg <zackw>
Project Administrator
Sun 18 Nov 2012 01:49:46 PM UTC, comment #2: 

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the improvement, it looks a lot more clear now, and confirms it was worth specifying!

Best regards,

Christophe CURIS <lobotomy>
Sat 17 Nov 2012 07:09:08 PM UTC, comment #1: 

Thanks for the bug report.  I committed this patch:

From 8d2596f8ea7f1ae8056efe9c033054aec2ccab54 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Paul Eggert <>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:06:05 -0800
Subject: [PATCH] AC_CHECK_FILES: improve documentation

  • doc/autoconf.texi (Files): Document AC_CHECK_FILES better.

Reported by Christophe Curis in
 doc/autoconf.texi | 13 +++++++------
 1 file changed, 7 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-)

diff --git a/doc/autoconf.texi b/doc/autoconf.texi
index d1483b8..5b556da 100644
--- a/doc/autoconf.texi
+++ b/doc/autoconf.texi
@@ -4457,7 +4457,7 @@ of the host machine, and therefore, they die when cross-compiling.
 @caindex file_@var{file}
 Check whether file @var{file} exists on the native system.  If it is
 found, execute @var{action-if-found}, otherwise do
-@var{action-if-not-found}, if given.  The result of this test is cached
+@var{action-if-not-found}, if given.  Cache the result of this test
 in the @code{ac_cv_file_@var{file}} variable, with characters not
 suitable for a variable name mapped to underscores.
 @end defmac
@@ -4466,11 +4466,12 @@ suitable for a variable name mapped to underscores.
 @caindex file_@var{file}
-Executes @code{AC_CHECK_FILE} once for each file listed in @var{files}.
-Additionally, defines @samp{HAVE_@var{file}} (@pxref{Standard Symbols})
-for each file found.  The results of each test are cached in the
-@code{ac_cv_file_@var{file}} variable, with characters not suitable for
-a variable name mapped to underscores.
+For each file listed in @var{files}, execute @code{AC_CHECK_FILE}
+and perform either @var{action-if-found} or @var{action-if-not-found}.
+Like @code{AC_CHECK_FILE}, this defines @samp{HAVE_@var{file}}
+(@pxref{Standard Symbols}) for each file found and caches the results of
+each test in the @code{ac_cv_file_@var{file}} variable, with characters
+not suitable for a variable name mapped to underscores.
 @end defmac



Paul Eggert <eggert>
Project Administrator
Sat 17 Nov 2012 05:45:59 PM UTC, original submission:  


While browsing the on-line documentation for Autoconf, I found a point that could need some added information:

The macro AC_CHECK_FILES proposes two actions (if-found and if-not-found), but it is not clear:
 - are they executed once for each file?
 - or only once in the end?

In the later case (which is what I suppose the behaviour, - but please could you state explicitly it in the page?), would you mind also specifying that 'action-if-found' is executed only if all files are found? (provided it is the case, of course).

This may sound a bit nit-picking, but I fell it would be better to leave no point open to interpretation.

Christophe CURIS <lobotomy>


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    Follow 2 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2020-07-10 zackw Open/ClosedOpen Closed
    2012-11-17 eggert StatusNone Done

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