1 November 2004


When looking into the libtool problem I mentioned earlier, I decided to take a look at the libtool-2.0 betas. Overall, it looks pretty good. I’ve updated the gnome-common autogen.sh script to support it. So if a package uses the LT_INIT macro, it will call libtoolize for you.

One of the new features in these versions of libtool is that if you have a AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR(directory) call in your configure.ac file, it will copy the libtool M4 macros to that directory. If you then call aclocal with the correct -I flag, autoconf will use that version of the macro.

This means that you will get consistent versions of ltmain.sh and libtool.m4, which is a lot more reliable. With the old setup, the version of ltmain.sh you got would depend on $PATH while the version of libtool.m4 would depend on the aclocal search path. With the new setup, it just depends on $PATH.

The only problem is that aclocal doesn’t automatically check the macro dir for macros. This is pretty easy to work around. Just pass the appropriate -I flag to aclocal in autogen.sh, and make sure ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS gets set appropriately in your Makefile.am‘s. This second part can be done from the configure.in file like so:

# make sure $ACLOCAL_FLAGS are used during a rebuild.

(the above will also pass $ACLOCAL_FLAGS to aclocal on a rebuild, which is expected when building most Gnome packages).

I also updated the gnome-common autogen.sh script to check for AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR, and call aclocal correctly, so a package maintainer doesn’t need to do anything special.

This system could benefit some of the other Gnome related build tools like intltool and gtk-doc — I recently got CC’d on an intltool bug that seemed to be caused by mismatched macros and support files, so people are tripping over the problem. It should be pretty trivial to modify intltoolize to check for AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR, and copy over the macro file if it finds it. This wouldn’t affect its behaviour on existing packages, but would be more reliable on packages that have been updated to use the macro.


I did some initial Fedora Core 2 packages for Bazaar (a new GNU Arch command line tool sponsored by Canonical). It is only an i386 build, but I’ll add an x86-64 build once I have FC2 or FC3 set up on my desktop (so far I’ve only got round to installing Ubuntu/AMD64 on it).

At the moment baz is quite similar to tla, but there are some promising interface ideas that should make it a lot nicer to use. If you’ve avoided Arch due to tla‘s complexity, baz might be worth trying when it develops further.