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How to dinamically set VERSION for AC_INIT

From: Stefano Sabatini
Subject: How to dinamically set VERSION for AC_INIT
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 15:45:54 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.16 (2007-06-11)

Hi all autoconfers,

I have a package managed by SVN, and I would like to assign the
AC_PACKAGE_VERSION using the current SVN version number.

So I hacked up this in


AC_INIT(my-fine-package, $SVN_VERSION)

where is a script which will output on stdout the SVN
revision number.

This as expected *doesn't* work, autoconf indeed complains with: warning: AC_INIT: not a literal: $SVN_VERSION

and I get a syntax error when running the autogenerated configure

The autoconf maual says about AC_INIT:

|It is preferable that the arguments of `AC_INIT' be static, i.e.,
|there should not be any shell computation, but they can be
|computed by M4.

So my question is: how can I compute with M4 the value to put in the
AC_INIT macro (sorry I'm an M4 newbie).

Also, do you think is this approach a sane way to assign the
AC_PACKAGE_VERSION to an autoconfigured package?

Many thanks in advance.
Best regards.
Stefano Sabatini
Linux user number 337176 (see

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