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Re: AC_PROG_INSTALL does not trigger install-sh availability

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: AC_PROG_INSTALL does not trigger install-sh availability
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 21:05:28 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2010-08-04)

Hello, and adding bug-automake,

* Eric Blake wrote on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 11:42:15PM CEST:
> On 09/14/2010 03:32 PM, Jan Engelhardt wrote:
> >using a configure.ac file with just four lines:
> >
> >AC_INIT([foo], [1])

> >I can produce a configure script by running `autoreconf -fi`, however,
> >running the then-created ./configure leads to:
> >
> >configure: error: cannot find install-sh, install.sh, or shtool in "."
> >"./.." "./../.."
> >
> >On IRC it was suggested to add in AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE; however, I am not
> >planning on using automake for this sample.
> >Why did autoreconf not copy install-sh? This looks a little like a bug.
> By design, autoconf itself does NOT copy install-sh directly, but
> assumes that it will be installed externally.  One way to install it
> externally is to use automake, the other way is to do it manually.
> Autoreconf, in turn, calls autoconf and conditionally calls
> automake; but if you aren't using automake, then autoreconf won't
> re-implement any of the actions that automake would have given you.
> Therefore, ifou are not going to use automake, then you are manually
> responsible for putting install-sh in the right place.  This is
> already documented under AC_PROG_INSTALL in the autoconf manual,
> although patches to clarify the wording and make it more obvious
> would be welcome.

This long-standing issue is (related to) PR automake/546 in

The issues with letting plain 'automake --add-missing' do the job
without AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE present is that we actually have less
information available as to what files are needed (but we can guess
good enough probably), and that we lose a bit of typo error detection.

So my latest thinking on this was to maybe add an --no-am switch to
explicitly allow copying without requiring AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE.
autoreconf could then use that.  WDYT?  Overkill?


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