Some autoconf cleanups

Ruben Kerkhof ruben at
Tue Mar 7 15:20:09 CET 2017

On Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 12:17 AM, Ondrej Zajicek <santiago at> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 04, 2017 at 06:13:16PM +0100, Ruben Kerkhof wrote:
>> The goal of this series is to make it possible to run autoreconf on a git checkout.
>> It does this by moving to and fixes deprecation warnings
>> and errors generated by autoheader.
> Hi

Hi Ondrej,

> Thanks for the cleanup patches, our configure script is old and not much
> kept up-to-date. I have some questions w.r.t. your patches:

Thanks for looking at my patches.
> It seems that (by removing sysdep/ the patchset not only
> make it possible to run autoreconf, but make it necessary. I am not
> familiar with that tool, could you briefly describe what are advantages
> of using it?

Of course. You're right, I should have mentioned this in the commit message.
autoreconf ships with autoconf, and it has been the standard tool to
bootstrap a development checkout for a few years.
Note, it is only needed if you want to develop from a git checkout,
not for an end user building from a tarball.

There's more documentation at

I also believe there's strong interest, at least in Debian and in
Fedora too, to run autoreconf by default, to make sure config.sub is
always up to date:

>>  rename aclocal.m4 => m4/bird.m4 (100%)
> Is this necessary? I have an aversion to boilerplate directories
> containing just one file.

It's not strictly necessary since bird doesn't use automake, but m4/
is somewhat of a canonical location.
I have plans to split this file up in later patches, and to see which
ones of these macros are still needed and possibly redo them
differently, in itself.

>> ...
> Shouldn't quotes be also there? Esp. when other patches added plenty of
> quotes to other macro expressions.

You're right, I missed that.
>> -AC_INIT(conf/confbase.Y)
> According to autoconf doc, AC_INIT should have at least arguments
> 'package, version'? Well, they were missing in the old code too ...

It works fine without these until you start using automake.
I didn't want to define the package version in there yet, since
there's BIRD_VERSION too.

I can add this and replace BIRD_VERSION with PACKAGE_VERSION if you
want in a followup patch.

> --
> Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo
> Ondrej 'Santiago' Zajicek (email: santiago at
> OpenPGP encrypted e-mails preferred (KeyID 0x11DEADC3,
> "To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so."

Kind regards,

Ruben Kerkhof

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