Proposed rework of autotools call structure from port Makefiles

Adam Weinberger adamw at
Fri Jun 17 01:47:03 GMT 2005

Ade Lovett wrote:
> Adam Weinberger wrote:
>>Is specifying the exact versions always necessary? Is it possible to
>>examine a or something to determine the version of
>>libtool/auto* needed, and then run that? That would also help with
>>things like the recent libtool13->libtool15 sweep, if one could just
>>define USE_AUTOTOOLS=autoconf and the build system could intuit the rest.
> Unfortunately, it's been my experience that such auto-detection of the
> "required" version is insanely prone to error.  There are so many
> different styles of generated scripts (particularly for autoconf and
> automake), that such parsing would be extremely tricky.
> That's not to say that it's impossible, but I think it's beyond the
> scope of what I'm trying to do here -- it could certainly be considered
> at a later date.
> On reflection, I'm wondering whether it would make sense to have two
> variables, USE_AUTOTOOLS and WANT_AUTOTOOLS, each with just a simple
> list of things that are needed.  This is more in spirit with other
> USE/WANT variables, and doesn't add too much complexity.
> Thoughts?
> -aDe

At least for GNOME, USE vs. WANT carries a very different meaning. WANT 
lets the port build different ways depending on what's available, but 
auto-related stuff doesn't have that luxury. WANT_AUTOTOOLS seems like a 
complete misnomer to me; I like the :env idea.

# Adam

Adam Weinberger
adamw at || adamw at
adamw at    ||   adamw at

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