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Re: Having Trouble with m4 Input (m4 version 1.4.13)

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: Having Trouble with m4 Input (m4 version 1.4.13)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 20:46:34 +0700

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your comments.

On 7 Sep 2010, at 19:25, Tom Browder wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 05:49, Tom Browder <address@hidden> wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 01:58, Gary V. Vaughan <address@hidden> wrote:
> ...
>>> Here is an ealy draft for an article I wrote for `Linux User & Developer'
> Gary, I enjoyed the article.  I particularly liked the code to show
> how to avoid the cpp include problem of having to read all included
> files even with the cpp include guard macros in place.
> Questions:
> 1.  How close is m4 version 2.0 to being released (I think I saw there
> are just a few bugs left)?

For a long time, it was stalled on libltdl features only available in (then)
forthcoming libtool-2.0, which has been available now for quite some time.

Conceptually, I think M4-2.0 is complete, and the only feature change that
remains (if memory serves) is a tidy up of the module loading feature so
that include/sinclude can be used to load more macros whether they are
written in m4 or compiled from C.

Then, I wanted to be sure that we really have provided all of the introspection
necessary to allow a file of m4 macros to be able to implement any functionality
available from the command line.

And finally, all of the fixes from the 1.4 branch need to be ported forward
as necessary and a huge multi-platform test-a-thon to make sure nothing is
seriously broken.

If you'd asked me 4 or 5 years ago how soon all this would happen, I'd have
guessed at less than a year... and that estimate hasn't really changed, but
it needs a year of evenings spent pushing everything forward, which I haven't
had available since I became a perpetual traveler.  Which means that I still
have no idea how much time might elapse on the calendar before all of this
is done and 2.0 is out the door.  But more hands on deck will certainly help!

Note also that, Eric has done some sterling work on tidying up the 1.4 branch,
and has also created a new 1.6 development branch which is much less ambitious
than 2.0, and in theory could be ready much sooner than 2.0.

> 2.  Has there been any interest shown in an extension for gcc to use the 
> m4-cpp?

Yes, I've had occasional interest, particularly after the publication of that
article.  A famous man once said: "Now, it's just a simple matter of 

Gary V. Vaughan (address@hidden)

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