HEADS UP: Impending autotools changes

Ade Lovett ade at FreeBSD.org
Fri Jul 27 09:35:29 UTC 2007

Note that the below instructions are not strictly accurate (*sigh*)

See http://freebsd.lovett.com/patches/autotools-updating.txt

for the UPDATING entry.

This has been tested on a machine with a full GNOME and KDE  
environment installed and will become part of ports/UPDATING.


On Jul 27, 2007, at 00:45 , Ade Lovett wrote:

> Please note that this change will be committed some time this  
> coming weekend.
> -aDe
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Ade Lovett <ade at FreeBSD.org>
>> Date: July 23, 2007 19:13:21  PDT
>> To: ports at FreeBSD.org
>> Cc: Ade Lovett <ade at FreeBSD.org>
>> Subject: HEADS UP: Impending autotools changes
>> In the next few days, after extensive testing, the next major  
>> update to the autotools infrastructure will be committed to the  
>> ports tree.
>> These changes bring FreeBSD's autoconf/automake in line with  
>> autotool suites available on other platforms, allowing for  
>> multiple versions to be installed and run in isolation of each other:
>> [ade at foo:/usr/local/bin] 4% ls autoconf* automake*
>> autoconf               autoconf-wrapper       automake-1.6
>> autoconf-2.13          automake               automake-1.7
>> autoconf-2.53          automake-1.10          automake-1.8
>> autoconf-2.59          automake-1.4           automake-1.9
>> autoconf-2.61          automake-1.5           automake-wrapper
>> As you will see from the above, the naming conventions have been  
>> changed to be "stock", with unversioned scripts allowing the use  
>> of any version of the tools via a couple of wrapper scripts  
>> written by des at .
>> There are 3 key points associated with this change:
>> 1.  The ports versions of autoconf* and automake* can now be used,  
>> not only for building other ports, but also for developing  
>> platform-independent code using this tools -- as such, the gnu-*  
>> variants will be disappearing shortly.
>> 2.  For IDEs, or development in general, a new port, devel/ 
>> autotools (also available in a port Makefile as USE_AUTOTOOLS=  
>> autotools:run) will bring in all available versions of the autotools.
>> 3.  When it comes to the actual update, a number of ports, most  
>> notably IDEs and php{4,5}, but all software that embeds the  
>> current names of autotools in build scripts etc. will need to be  
>> updated, or bad things will happen.  Regretfully, particularly in  
>> the case of PHP, this will likely require manual intervention  
>> outside of the portupgrade/portmaster update methodologies.
>> That aside, this is a significant step forward for autotools on  
>> FreeBSD, and my thanks go out to those that have provided  
>> assistance and testing.  In particularly, I would like to thank  
>> linimon@, pav@, kris@ and des@ for their respective efforts in  
>> making this happen.
>> -aDe
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