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Re: Building subversion with libtool 1.4

From: Mo DeJong <mdejong_at_cygnus.com>
Date: 2001-07-03 21:52:24 CEST

On 3 Jul 2001, Jon Trowbridge wrote:

> * The patch breaks building with libtool 1.3.5.


> * I used autoconf 2.13; autoconf 2.50 won't work. (I've had problems
> with 2.50 with other packages as well.)

This seems like a good time to talk about autoconf 2.50.
This new release of autoconf fixes a huge number of
problems and it finally makes cross compiling workable.

While using the new autoconf has its benefits, there are
also some downsides. People will complain and complain
about the fact that they can no longer use autoconf 2.13
once things have been upgraded to autoconf 2.50. It
is important to "fight the urge" to make the build
system work with multiple versions of the build tools.
It seems doable at first, but it ends up causing no
end of trouble since it introduces yet another variable
that needs to be accounted for. Someone will come along
and file a bug report like "This thing is broken" and
after a lot of wasted effort it will be tracked down
to a diff between autoconf 2.50 and 2.13.

To avoid all that, I suggest we add the following to
the top of subversion's configure.in.


The main thing standing in the way of this is the fact
that anyone wanting to build subversion would need to
download and install autoconf 2.50. That is a valid
issue, but it is one that we should solve another way.
I suggest that instead of forcing folks to run ./autogen.sh
before running, the autoconf generated files (like ./configure)
should be stored in the CVS. That may seem like blasphemy
to some, but there are good reasons for it.

For one thing, anyone can build the tree after a checkout.
Since there is no need to have autoconf and libtool installed,
folks will not complain about needing to upgrade to the new
autoconf. Folks that want to make changes to the build scripts
will need to upgrade, but there will only be a few of these folks.
Putting the ./configure script in the CVS makes it easy to pull
down a build-able tree from 6 months ago. This tree will not
depend on your locally installed (and possibly locally modified)
tools in any way, so it is easy to reproduce previous results
without worry that installed tools have an effect on the results.

What do folks think? This is both a technical and a political
question since every package that subversion depends on will
also need to be upgraded before we really see the benefits
of autoconf 2.50. I am willing to do much of the work, but
before the way comes the will.

Mo DeJong
Red Hat Inc

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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:32 2006

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