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Re: m4-1.4.4b problems

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: m4-1.4.4b problems
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 07:27:07 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060516)

Hash: SHA1

[Adding autoconf and bug-m4 to distribution]

According to Bruno Haible on 6/22/2006 5:45 AM:
> Hi,
> I got two problems with m4-1.4.4b:
> 1) After installing it, automake breaks like this:
> $ automake-1.9 --gnits  tests/Makefile
> NONE:0: /packages/gnu/bin/m4: `m4_symbols' from frozen file not found in 
> builtin table!
> autom4te: /packages/gnu/bin/m4 failed with exit status: 1
> automake-1.9: autoconf failed with exit status: 1
> make: *** [Makefile.in] Fehler 1
> I had m4-1.4o installed at the same place earlier.

m4-1.4<letter> is a beta release, which will be the eventual m4-2.0.
There are some known incompatibilities in the frozen file format added in
format version 2, that m4 1.4.x is documented to be unable to understand
(since it only parses format version 1).  In short, downgrading m4
potentially invalidates all frozen files created with the newer version.
Ralf Wildenhues already identified frozen file format incompatibilities as
an issue for autoconf, and added a patch to CVS autoconf that melts all
files when bootstrapping autoconf (in other words, avoids using frozen
files leftover from previous runs, in case the bootstrap picks up on a new
m4 version), but this was intended for the upgrade transition from
m4-1.4.x to m4-2.0 rather than the downgrade transition you mention (since
CVS head m4 does not yet parse version 1 correctly, even though it
should).  All I can say for m4 is that I will more prominently mention in
the documentation that downgrading from an alpha release to a stable
release probably invalidates all frozen files created with the alpha
release; and that people using alpha m4-1.4o should be prepared for such
breakage if they choose to downgrade to stable 1.4.5.

> 2) The tarball is lacking m4/gnulib-cache.m4. Without it,
> "gnulib-tool --update" effectively removes all gnulib modules from lib/.

Thanks; I'll patch this shortly.

> Bruno

- --
Life is short - so eat dessert first!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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