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Re: Requiring grep which supports multiple -e options

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Requiring grep which supports multiple -e options
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2008 12:58:46 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17+20080114 (2008-01-14)

Hello Eric, Stepan,

here's my 2 cents of subjective opinion on this.

* Eric Blake wrote on Sat, Apr 05, 2008 at 12:05:56AM CEST:
> According to Stepan Kasal on 4/3/2008 9:48 AM:
> | But AC_PROG_GREP wants grep which supports multiple -e options and
> | stops with an error if there is none available.
> | Is that requirement really necessary?  Does a "usual" configure
> | script really need it?
> Probably not - at least, on inspection, neither autoconf nor coreutils
> used 'grep -e'.

No, but we documented for our users that AC_PROG_GREP provides this
feature (of searching for such a grep).

> | If not, could this requirement be relaxed somehow?
> Sounds reasonable to me.  But I think it is a bit too late to experiment
> with this for 2.62; we'll have to save it for after the release.

That would be backwards incompatible, no?  Also, it seems kind of
arbitrary to relax requirements here, while we make other macros
stricter in requiring standards conformance (gnulib is even much more
extreme in this case).

> | The reporter has actually expirienced this when building GNU grep on
> | LunxOS.  (Well, I can only guess that he tried to build GNU grep
> | because another configure script has told him that none of the
> | supplied grep binaries is usable.  ;-)
> |
> | In case the requirements for grep are not relaxed in Autoconf itself,
> | shouldn't GNU grep contain a workaround, eg. a modified definition of
> That sounds like a good idea for the grep package, at any rate.

Well, if the grep package is the only one suffering from this issue,
then I would prefer a solution for that package only.  And it can be
really simple: grep's could just do a search for a useful
$GREP itself, before AC_PROG_GREP.


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