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Re: m4-1.4.10 breaking autoconf?

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: m4-1.4.10 breaking autoconf?
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 21:38:00 -0600
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According to Thomas Klausner on 7/20/2007 5:05 PM:
> Hi!
> After the m4 update in pkgsrc there have been reports of breakage in
> packages where autoconf is run. In pkgsrc this affects e.g. mng,
> firefox, thunderbird and others.

Thanks for the report.  I have re-bootstrapped m4 1.4.10 with itself, and
didn't have any problems on my cygwin platform with the resulting
configure script, so either the m4 configure.ac is simpler than mng's, or
m4 1.4.10 is tickling a platform-specific bug.  Hopefully you can help us
narrow in on the problem.

> In the case of mng, the output looks like this:
> # /bin/rm -f configure.in && /bin/ln -sf makefiles/configure.in .; /bin/rm -f 
> Makefile.am && /bin/ln -sf makefiles/Makefile.am .; aclocal; 
> /usr/pkg/bin/libtoolize --automake; automake -a --foreign -i; autoconf
> configure.in:9: installing `./missing'
> configure.in:9: installing `./install-sh'
> # ./configure
> #
> That's the complete(!) configure output.

Hmm, maybe output is getting skipped, leaving out large chunks of what is
supposed to form the final configure.  Offhand, one thing in NEWS that
jumps out at me as a potential cause would be the change in diversion
handling to try to allow diversions larger than 512k again.

> I'll attach the generated configure script.

The attached configure file was well formed (at least according to 'bash
- -n ./configure').  With a quick glance, I could not tell much more than
that with the script in isolation (and it may be a while before I would
have time to play with downloading libmng to try harder), so action on
your end can speed things up a bit.

I'm assuming that the only variable you changed was whether you used m4
1.4.9 vs. 1.4.10?  Could you also attach a diff between the configure
scripts generated by the two versions, so that we can narrow down on what
in the source to the configure script may have tickled a difference?

Also, what platform is this on (both OS and processor type)?  Could you
also post the results of running 'make -k check' on the m4 1.4.10
testsuite? (Even if this was the NetBSD-4.99.23/amd64 of your previous
message, at least rerun with make -k so that we can see the results of the
rest of the testsuite.)

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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