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Re: infrastructure for suggested/required packages, and better error rep

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: infrastructure for suggested/required packages, and better error reporting
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:15:32 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Sat, 31 Jul 2010, Ralf Wildenhues wrote:

1) Autoconf should have macros for delayed error reporting.
Example: wget foo-1.tar.gz, run configure, find out it needs bar.
Install bar, only to find out foo also needs baz, etc.

So, we should have something that allows an error message but also
continues the configure script in search for other possible errors,
and summarizes the suggestions and errors at the end.

Library dependencies often behave like a pyramid so the first failure is often likely to cause all of the other tests to fail.

What is sorely lacking from Autotools is a proper way to determine library dependencies. Many packages uses pkg-config for this purpose, but it becomes quite unreliable in complex situations. If libtool .la files were not deleted, then the configure script would have a way to query and determine the actual dependencies.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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