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sr #108879: Add m4_forbid_pattern for autoconf-archive macros

Submitted by:  Philip Withnall <drbob>
Submitted on:  Wed 09 Sep 2015 03:20:51 PM UTC  
 
Category: NonePriority: 5 - Normal
Severity: 3 - NormalStatus: None
Privacy: PublicAssigned to: None
Open/Closed: OpenOperating System: None

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Fri 11 Sep 2015 01:01:17 PM UTC, comment #2:

> I'm reluctant to have autoconf exclude a namespace that it is not in charge of itself. After all, autoconf documents how to warn about the lack of pkg-config, but does not exclude it itself (so I'm okay with expanding the documentation in autoconf to also mention how to warn about lack of Autoconf Archives).


I see your point — this would be a layering violation. I can’t see many alternatives though.

> I'd rather see Autoconf Archives do a better job of explaining that any configure.ac that wants to take advantage of an AX_ macro should also add the appropriate m4_pattern_forbid(), or possibly even automate it whenever you use an Archive macro. Autoconf Archives could use gnulib as an example (it installs its own pattern ignore as part of running gnulib-tool).


The problem is that makes people’s configure.ac files horrendous — it turns a single macro invocation into two. Some kind of autoconf-archive-tool like gnulib-tool would make this easier to apply, but the m4_pattern_* invocations would still be cluttering up configure.ac.

I guess my argument hinges on the size of autoconf-archive — I would say it’s popular enough now to have a solid claim to the AX_ namespace, to the extent that it’s worth more than a mention in the autoconf documentation. However, I understand you might disagree.

Philip Withnall <drbob>
Wed 09 Sep 2015 03:30:11 PM UTC, comment #1:

I'm reluctant to have autoconf exclude a namespace that it is not in charge of itself. After all, autoconf documents how to warn about the lack of pkg-config, but does not exclude it itself (so I'm okay with expanding the documentation in autoconf to also mention how to warn about lack of Autoconf Archives).

I'd rather see Autoconf Archives do a better job of explaining that any configure.ac that wants to take advantage of an AX_ macro should also add the appropriate m4_pattern_forbid(), or possibly even automate it whenever you use an Archive macro. Autoconf Archives could use gnulib as an example (it installs its own pattern ignore as part of running gnulib-tool).

Eric Blake <ericb>
Project Administrator
Wed 09 Sep 2015 03:20:51 PM UTC, original submission:

autoconf-archive (http://www.gnu.org/software/autoconf-archive/) is quite big now, but the error messages generated by autoconf/m4 when trying to process a configure.ac without some of the necessary autoconf-archive macros installed are not very helpful.

Would it be possible for autoconf to specify something like
m4_pattern_forbid([^_?AX_[A-Z_]+$])
to forbid all un-expanded autoconf-archive macros; and for autoconf-archive to add the necessary m4_pattern_allow() calls for macros it installs?

Philip Withnall <drbob>

 

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