Solicitation for commentary on automake/autoconf/libtool/gettex use

Dagmar d'Surreal dagmar at speakeasy.net
Fri Aug 30 10:44:25 PDT 2002


I've been doing some banging around with (pronounced as: "cursing and
swearing at") the programs mentioned above lately, and although the
number of exceptions is still pretty large, I'm now at the point where I
want to get more input from people about what might be a more
intelligent route for slapping these three tools into a system and
expecting them to work, particularly when dealing with pulling source
code from CVS repositories.  Some hints for these tools are well
overdue.  Feel free to comment on anything you see below, but let's
avoid "religious" discussions where they don't apply to specific known
issues, if possible...  I've listed them in order of which ones I'm the
most sure I've got installing correctly.

libtool - Seems to be a no-brainer, because the latest version of
libtool (1.4.2) seems to be working okay with everything.

autoconf - Some people are using 2.13 still, but from what I've been
able to tell, 2.53 seems to satisfy everything that scripts meant for
2.13 want to see, and it appears to be working okay (at least,
downgrading to 2.13 hasn't done me a bit of good when 2.53 has failed)

automake - This is the one I worry the most about, since there appear to
be a heck of a split going on as to whether people should use 1.4 or
1.6.  Thankfully 1.4 and 1.6 appear to be able to be installed
simultaneously now, with 1.4-p6.

gettext - gettext-0.11.5 appears to be the leader at the moment, having
run into explosive issues with 0.11.2 with several CJK-ish translation
files used with gnome2, and a couple of "growing pains"-type issues with
0.11.4.  The thing here that worries me the most is libintl.h.  Normally
I wouldn't deviate from using a header file installed by a GNU package,
but boy howdy do a lot of things start breaking for me if I allow it to
overwrite the one provided by glibc, no matter which way I build them.

(Post scriptum: Big props to the gent who wrote the docbook hint.  On my
next rebuild I'll probably have the shell script chunks necessary to
make a script to download and install all that stuff, and he is getting
the first copy of it to test.)

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