autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed

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autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed

Max Horn
Hi there,

so I have this project where I use autoconf and libtool, but *not* automake. Turns out that autoreconf insists on using tools from automake anyway, namely by invoking "aclocal" which is part of automake.

This is what I get:

$ autoreconf -vif --no-recursive -I cnf/m4 .
autoreconf: Entering directory `.'
autoreconf: configure.ac: not using Gettext
autoreconf: running: aclocal -I cnf/m4  --output=aclocal.m4t
Can't exec "aclocal": No such file or directory at /sw/share/autoconf/Autom4te/FileUtils.pm line 326.
autoreconf: failed to run aclocal: No such file or directory


I can "fix" this by installing automake, but this is deeply unsatisfactory. Is there a better solution?

Note that my configure.ac uses
  AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR([cnf/m4])
and so aclocal.m4 ends up looking like this (after stripping out legal headers):

m4_ifndef([AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS], [m4_defun([_AM_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS], [])m4_defun([AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS], [_AM_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS($@)])])
m4_include([cnf/m4/ax_check_library.m4])
m4_include([cnf/m4/ax_pthread.m4])
...

Creating such a list of includes (from a naive view point, of course) seems like it should be "trivial" to do, and not require a complex tool like aclocal. But perhaps / likely I am missing something?

Or perhaps aclocal should be migrated from automake to autoconf? (Perhaps under a different name, to simplify the transition?)


Cheers,
Max
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Re: autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed

Nick Bowler-2
Hello,

On 3/22/17, Max Horn <[hidden email]> wrote:
[snip]

> $ autoreconf -vif --no-recursive -I cnf/m4 .
> autoreconf: Entering directory `.'
> autoreconf: configure.ac: not using Gettext
> autoreconf: running: aclocal -I cnf/m4  --output=aclocal.m4t
> Can't exec "aclocal": No such file or directory at
> /sw/share/autoconf/Autom4te/FileUtils.pm line 326.
> autoreconf: failed to run aclocal: No such file or directory
>
> I can "fix" this by installing automake, but this is deeply
> unsatisfactory.  Is there a better solution?

Not sure why this is a big problem, but if you supply aclocal.m4
yourself, autoreconf will not try to run the aclocal program to
generate it.

Cheers,
  Nick

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Re: autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed

Paul Eggert
In reply to this post by Max Horn
On 03/22/2017 03:15 AM, Max Horn wrote:
> so I have this project where I use autoconf and libtool, but*not*  automake. Turns out that autoreconf insists on using tools from automake anyway, namely by invoking "aclocal" which is part of automake.
>
> T

It won't do that if you supply your own aclocal.m4, even a trivial one.
See, for example, the file autogen.sh in the GNU Emacs master source code.

>
> Or perhaps aclocal should be migrated from automake to autoconf? (Perhaps under a different name, to simplify the transition?)

Something like that might make sense, if someone had the time to think
through all the issues.


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