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Behaviour when using both "--dry-run" and "--always-make" together

From: Johan Persson
Subject: Behaviour when using both "--dry-run" and "--always-make" together
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2021 20:16:56 +0200
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.2-beta

I stumbled upon an issue when I recently switched to VSCode as editor. 

I have several projects that have a full (medium-complex+) autotool
setup and they all work fine. However I discovered that VSCode in order
to initialize starts by running 

make --dry-run --always-make 

as first time initialization. This throws the makefile (or actuall the
re-config) into an endless loop re-running "configure".I have also
confirmed this behavior with the smallest possible autoconf/automake
setup. I can also kind-of understand why this happens (and it seems make
have an internal way to discover this exact situation with the special
variable MAKE_RESTARTS that could possible be used to detect a cyclic

Does anyone know if the combination of both these command line
parameters are valid in an autotools context and if not, should it be
considered a bug or just a non-supported use case? 

Is there a known best-practice workaround (before I go down the
rabbit-hole of trying to find something myself)? 


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