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From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: MAINTAINERCLEANFILES for autotools
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 23:34:02 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Hello Behdad,

Thanks for the report.

* Behdad Esfahbod wrote on Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 09:57:20PM CEST:
>   * automake should generate rules to add Makefile.in to MAINTAINERCLEANFILES.
>   * automake should generate rules to add config.cache to DISTCLEANFILES.
>   * automake/aclocal/autoheader/libtool/* should cause automake to generate
> rules to add the following files to MAINTAINERCLEANFILES for toplevel dir:
> I personally also include configure.scan in the list.
> Where build/ is the directory passed to AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR.

This topic has come up before.  There is general agreement that there
should be a simple way to remove all these files; whether through
maintainer-clean, distclean, or a bootstrap-clean or some other method,
is a technical detail (more important for the implementor than the

Benoit started working on bootstrap cleaning a while ago, but that
work has stalled.  One problem is that it is surprisingly difficult
to remove all files correctly in all the different setups that autotools
support, in such a way that 'make' both finishes cleanly, and doesn't
cause any autotools reruns on the way.  That's why this doesn't exist
yet.  We'll revisit this some time, can't say when though.

> Aside from those, I also find it bothersome to have to list all Makefile.in's
> in configure.ac where it should actually be somehow generated from
> Makefile.am's DIST_SUBDIRS itself (is that what automake uses?).

DIST_SUBDIRS is created from SUBDIRS by default.  The listing in
configure.ac is to create Makefile from Makefile.in, the SUBDIRS
listing is to do the traversal.  I agree that it's most often
duplicated work, but in principle it isn't necessary that all
Makefiles are created from Makefile.am or even Makefile.in files.
To allow for this flexibility, means some redundancy.


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