[gpm] problems with git and AC_PACKAGE_VERSION

Nico Schottelius nico-gpm@schottelius.org
Thu Jun 19 07:47:58 CEST 2008

Good morning Mike, dear list,

Mike Frysinger [Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 09:20:16PM -0400]:
> current git fails to run autotools.

Strangely no problem here, autogen runs without problems
and mostly creates the correct output. I've
version 2.61 here.

> this is because .gitversion.m4 defines 
> AC_PACKAGE_VERSION to a date stamp, but the configure.ac does 
> AC_SUBST(AC_PACKAGE_VERSION).  since the former did a define() instead of 
> declaring it a shell variable, it becomes:
> AC_SUBST(1.20.5 2008....)
> which obviously fails

You are absolutely right, the AC_SUBST call is a relict from my fight
with autotools and is now removed as of commit 11fd4f6.

> i dont know what the intention was here, so i'm not going to try and fix it.  

To explain what happened:

My very simple aim was to include the version string produced by git
(git-describe) into gpm.

So my very first idea was to do this:


which resulted in this warning:

   configure.ac:7: warning: AC_INIT: not a literal: "$revgit"

Then I tried to define it via m4, still depending on a shell variable:

   revgit="`cat $srcdir/.gitversion`"
   m4_define([AC_PACKAGE_VERSION], [$revgit])

When AC_PACKAGE_VERSION is set before AC_INIT runs, AC_INIT will not
overwrite it (see autoconf m4 files). But this did not work, as it was
expanded to

Interestingly another variable seems not to depend on it:

   PACKAGE_STRING='gpm "version-set-in-.gitversion-via-acinclude.m4"'

The later part should obviously also be $revgit, but well, I don't
use PACKAGE_STRING, so I ignored it.

Then I tried the m4 include() macro, which looked pretty nice for me:

   m4_define([AC_PACKAGE_VERSION], include(.gitversion))

Strangely it seems include() was not called by m4, thus this results in


So the final step was to pregenerate an m4 macro that contains the
version and include that:

   echo "define([AC_PACKAGE_VERSION], [${version} ${date}])" > .gitversion.m4



Think about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

PGP: BFE4 C736 ABE5 406F 8F42  F7CF B8BE F92A 9885 188C
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