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bug#64756: some frequent test failures

From: Karl Berry
Subject: bug#64756: some frequent test failures
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2023 16:35:07 -0600

    The various test-suite.log files show different test failures each

Yes. Painful.  I believe this is due to a timing problem with autom4te,
exposed by Automake using fractional second sleeps according to what the
filesystem supports.  It is fixed in the autoconf repository but hasn't
been released.

I also noted this and asked for help earlier this year. Bogdan and
many other contributors looked into it, and Bogdan eventually came up
with a (tiny) patch for autom4te, which Jacob forwarded to autoconf here:
and it got installed. I don't know if there is an associated autoconf
bug#, but probably?

For myself, I can report that when I made the change (< to <= in two
places) in my live autom4te, it did not completely fix the timing
failures. I don't know why not. I bootstrapped and installed autoconf
from its git (as of around June 11) and have used that version with
development automake ever since, and the timing problems have stayed gone.

(This fix is what has allowed me to get back to doing any Automake
maintenance at all, so thanks again, Bogdan & everyone!)

Jacob developed a change to allow automake to test whether the autom4te
fix is in place or not, to avoid requiring the latest autoconf, but I
haven't installed it yet -- see thread continuation starting at

(If anyone has time to turn the code into the full expected patch, that
would be great.)


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