Bugfix and improvement for autogen.sh

Norbert Thiebaud nthiebaud at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 03:26:28 PST 2012

On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 4:57 AM, Josh Heidenreich
<josh.sickmate at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey,
>>        I wonder if instead it would be better to special case '--help' in
>> autogen.sh so that if it is detected we don't write it to
>> autogen.lastrun.
> That is what the code does if I replace
>     system ("./help.sh " . $ARGV[$pos+1]);
> in the above code with
>     system ("configure --help");
> The idea of the extra help tool was to make it easier for newbies. Did
> you take a look at what I have written so far?

Maintenance is a problem. new/changed/delete options in configure.in
are maintained in configure.in, it is sometimes hard enough to get the
in-line help to be kept updated. expecting that people with
know/remember to edit autogen.sh or help.sh when they edit
configure.in is going to lead to disappointment.

with that in mind, preventing ./autogen.sh --help to overwrite
autogen.lastrun is a good uncontroversial idea, that create zero
ongoing maintenance burden.
I suggest we stick to that.
As for improving things for 'newbie' I think pointing at the wiki is
fine but most importantly having autogen.sh do the 'Right Thing(tm)'
is more helpful than trying to maintain yet another documentation that
most people don't read, especially not the people that would benefit
the most from reading it.


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