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bug#37499: Wrong location of deps directory when using AC_SUBST

From: Karl Berry
Subject: bug#37499: Wrong location of deps directory when using AC_SUBST
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2020 19:46:23 -0700

Hi Fabrizio - unfortunately, your examples work for me, in that I can
run, in the proj/ directory, either
./configure --with-mylib=../lib
./configure --with-mylib=/abs/path/to/autotool-bug/lib

and then make, in either the proj/ directory or the proj/src
subdirectory, and it all completes successfully.
All this with both your tarballs. So I remain unclear as to what you're
doing. Sorry.

Since configure is run in the proj/ directory, not proj/src, it seems
evident that any method, absolute or relative, which specifies mylib to
be the ../../lib directory cannot work, because that directory will not
exist relative to proj/.

Can you tell me exactly what commands you are running, starting with
tar xf <tarfile> (and which <tarfile> to use), to see the problem?
Just one sequence to reproduce the problem is enough.

    a wrong directory: proj/src/home/fabrizio/test/lib/.deps

In any event, this blind concatenation of paths surely looks
wrong. Maybe if the path (whatever it is) is absolute, the concatenation
should be avoided.

Unfortunately, I cannot discern where the computations are happening,
whether it's somewhere in the depcomp script or the Makefile that's
calling it.

In addition, I agree with Hans-Bernhard that using a directory outside
of top_srcdir is not exactly supported, although evidently it works in
some cases. Even if it cannot be handled properly, perhaps a real error
message could be given, or at least the deficiency documented.


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