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autoconf error message suggestion

Karel Kulhavy
clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please

I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
about this topic (even if the manpage list suggested it should be installed),
but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.

CL<

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Stuart Henderson
On 2006/12/04 16:15, Karel Kulhavy wrote:
> clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
>
> I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
> about this topic (even if the manpage list suggested it should be installed),
> but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.

set it to the version number you want; if you need to run autoconf you
probably also know how to read the /usr/local/bin/autoconf script and work
this out yourself...

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Michael Shalayeff-2
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 04:15:41PM +0100, Karel Kulhavy wrote:
> clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
>
> I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
> about this topic (even if the manpage list suggested it should be installed),
> but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.

why don't yo talk to the autoconf developers?
cu
--
    paranoic mickey       (my employers have changed but, the name has remained)

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Andreas Maus-2
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
Hi.

On 12/4/06, Karel Kulhavy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
Yes. Just do it. e.g.:

maus@gorg:~ $ env | grep AUTO
AUTOMAKE_VERSION=1.9
AUTOCONF_VERSION=2.59

> I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
You are kidding, aren't you ?

Setting up environment variables depends on your shell.
csh/tcsh uses setenv and sh/ksh/bash uses export

> but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.
No, because you should have at least basic Un*x knowledge.

Andreas.

--
Hobbes : Shouldn't we read the instructions?
Calvin : Do I look like a sissy?

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Karel Kulhavy
On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 04:54:00PM +0100, Andreas Maus wrote:

> Hi.
>
> On 12/4/06, Karel Kulhavy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> >Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
> Yes. Just do it. e.g.:
>
> maus@gorg:~ $ env | grep AUTO
> AUTOMAKE_VERSION=1.9
> AUTOCONF_VERSION=2.59
>
> >I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> >how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
> You are kidding, aren't you ?

No.

>
> Setting up environment variables depends on your shell.
> csh/tcsh uses setenv and sh/ksh/bash uses export

No I mean explanation how the user obtains a list of available numbers and
how to select from them.

>
> >but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.
> No, because you should have at least basic Un*x knowledge.

I have a basic Unix knowledge. Do you think that someone who wrote 25% of a
graphical web browser that runs on the following platforms:
Linux, BSD, UNIX in general, OS/2, Cygwin under Windows, AtheOS, BeOS,
FreeMint, X Window System (UN*X, Cygwin), SVGAlib, Linux Framebuffer, OS/2
PMShell, AtheOS GUI, doesn't have a basic Unix knowledge?

If the autoconf message included a pointer to the URL explaining this topic it
would save me and other people's time. When I go to google and try to find it
it wastes a lot of time dealing with false positives.

Please try to understand the core of the problem in the following comparison:

This answer is an equivalent to "we didn't put labels on the buttons on TV
remote control because this information can be obtained from the user's
manual".

I don't understand what's the point in refusing to do this - this looks like
some kind of OpenBSD script and it should be easy to change the text it prints,
shouldn't? I guess the work will be minimal and the benefit will be obvious.

CL<
>
> Andreas.
>
> --
> Hobbes : Shouldn't we read the instructions?
> Calvin : Do I look like a sissy?

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Karel Kulhavy
In reply to this post by Stuart Henderson
On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 03:31:06PM +0000, Stuart Henderson wrote:

> On 2006/12/04 16:15, Karel Kulhavy wrote:
> > clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> > Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
> >
> > I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> > how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
> > about this topic (even if the manpage list suggested it should be installed),
> > but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.
>
> set it to the version number you want; if you need to run autoconf you
> probably also know how to read the /usr/local/bin/autoconf script and work
> this out yourself...

According to this approach, M$ Window$ are open source, because you can
read the machine code which contains an exact description how it works inside.

Why isn't there a manual page for the autoconf switch script under man autoconf
and there is a manpage for another openbsd specific software under man pkg_add?

Please understand that these problems may seem insignificant, but there are
lots of them and added together they decrease the usability of OpenBSD.  I
believe that adding a piece of text here and there when reported would cost
negligible work and would increase the usability of the system. Like when
you report typos in books.

CL<

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Andreas Maus-2
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
On 12/12/06, Karel Kulhavy <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi.

> > You are kidding, aren't you ?
>
> No.
o.k.

> > csh/tcsh uses setenv and sh/ksh/bash uses export
>
> No I mean explanation how the user obtains a list of available numbers and
> how to select from them.
Short answer:

maus@vectra ~ $ ls -l /usr/local/bin/autoconf-*
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  bin  4853 Jul 28 09:59 /usr/local/bin/autoconf-2.13
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  bin  7686 Jun 27 16:38 /usr/local/bin/autoconf-2.57
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  bin  7674 Jun 27 16:35 /usr/local/bin/autoconf-2.59

Or you can use pkg_info to get a more detailed output:

maus@vectra ~ $ pkg_info autoconf
Information for autoconf-2.13p0

Comment:
automatically configure source code on many Un*x platforms

Description:
Autoconf is an extensible package of m4 macros that produce shell
scripts to automatically configure software source code packages.
These scripts can adapt the packages to many kinds of UNIX-like
systems without manual user intervention.  Autoconf creates a
maus@vectra ~ $ pkg_info autoconf | head -n 20
Information for autoconf-2.13p0

Comment:
automatically configure source code on many Un*x platforms

Description:
Autoconf is an extensible package of m4 macros that produce shell
scripts to automatically configure software source code packages.
These scripts can adapt the packages to many kinds of UNIX-like
systems without manual user intervention.  Autoconf creates a
configuration script for a package from a template file that lists the
operating system features that the package can use, in the form of m4
macro calls.

The FSF would make you believe that only gnu-m4 can handle autoconf.
This is no longer true. This package does not depend on gnu-m4.

This is autoconf-2.13.

The actual autoconf drivers for selecting autoconf version are in
[... snipp ...]

> > No, because you should have at least basic Un*x knowledge.
>
> I have a basic Unix knowledge. Do you think that someone who wrote 25% of a
> graphical web browser that runs on the following platforms:
[... snipp ...]
> PMShell, AtheOS GUI, doesn't have a basic Unix knowledge?
Honestly, I dont care about that.

> I don't understand what's the point in refusing to do this - this looks like
> some kind of OpenBSD script and it should be easy to change the text it prints,
> shouldn't? I guess the work will be minimal and the benefit will be obvious.
Sure. The file is not brand new:

maus@vectra ~ $ head  /usr/local/bin/autoconf
#! /bin/sh
# $OpenBSD: meta.in,v 1.3 2004/11/08 22:00:09 mbalmer Exp $

# Copyright (c) 2003,2004 Marc Espie.
#

You can make the changes, update the corresponding package (metaauto-0.5)
and commit the changes after testing.

Andreas.

--
Hobbes : Shouldn't we read the instructions?
Calvin : Do I look like a sissy?

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Marc Balmer-2
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
* Karel Kulhavy wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 03:31:06PM +0000, Stuart Henderson wrote:
> > On 2006/12/04 16:15, Karel Kulhavy wrote:
> > > clock@kestrel:~$ autoconf
> > > Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
> > >
> > > I suggest this error message to be extended with a pointer to information
> > > how to set this environment variable. As I wrote, I didn't find any manpage
> > > about this topic (even if the manpage list suggested it should be installed),
> > > but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.
> >
> > set it to the version number you want; if you need to run autoconf you
> > probably also know how to read the /usr/local/bin/autoconf script and work
> > this out yourself...
>
> According to this approach, M$ Window$ are open source, because you can
> read the machine code which contains an exact description how it works inside.
>
> Why isn't there a manual page for the autoconf switch script under man autoconf
> and there is a manpage for another openbsd specific software under man pkg_add?
>
> Please understand that these problems may seem insignificant, but there are
> lots of them and added together they decrease the usability of OpenBSD.  I
> believe that adding a piece of text here and there when reported would cost
> negligible work and would increase the usability of the system. Like when
> you report typos in books.

pkg_info autoconf and pkg_info metaauto describe this.

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
On 2006/12/12 11:05, Karel Kulhavy wrote:
> > set it to the version number you want; if you need to run autoconf you
> > probably also know how to read the /usr/local/bin/autoconf script and work
> > this out yourself...
>
> According to this approach, M$ Window$ are open source, because you can
> read the machine code which contains an exact description how it works inside.

it's just a shell script... From a quick search of the archives
it doesn't seem like anyone had a problem with it that they couldn't
work out for themselves before...

> Why isn't there a manual page for the autoconf switch script under man autoconf
> and there is a manpage for another openbsd specific software under man pkg_add?

The auto* wrappers are not OpenBSD-specific, they're part of
pkg-config which is installed by the metaauto package. There's a
clue to this in the file location; the base OS is not installed
under /usr/local.

Ports/packages only very rarely (20 of 3100+ ports) have manpages
added if they're not supplied in the original distribution. If you
think it really warrants one, you could write one and send it to
the port maintainer and ask if he'd like to include it. But it's
preferable to try and get them included upstream in the original
distribution.

> Please understand that these problems may seem insignificant, but there are
> lots of them and added together they decrease the usability of OpenBSD.  I
> believe that adding a piece of text here and there when reported would cost
> negligible work and would increase the usability of the system.

If you think it's negligible work, do the work and send diffs along
with reports (-:

> Like when you report typos in books.

And people do that here, too.

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Adam-29
In reply to this post by Karel Kulhavy
Karel Kulhavy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > >but maybe there is some URL explaining this topic.
> > No, because you should have at least basic Un*x knowledge.
>
> I have a basic Unix knowledge. Do you think that someone who wrote 25% of a
> graphical web browser that runs on the following platforms:
> Linux, BSD, UNIX in general, OS/2, Cygwin under Windows, AtheOS, BeOS,
> FreeMint, X Window System (UN*X, Cygwin), SVGAlib, Linux Framebuffer, OS/2
> PMShell, AtheOS GUI, doesn't have a basic Unix knowledge?

Writing software does not imply having basic unix knowledge.  Asking
the questions you keep asking does imply lacking basic unix knowledge.

> This answer is an equivalent to "we didn't put labels on the buttons on TV
> remote control because this information can be obtained from the user's
> manual".

No, its equivalent to "it says I need to push the power button on the
remote, but doesn't include a pointer to a website explaining how to
push buttons".

> I don't understand what's the point in refusing to do this - this looks like
> some kind of OpenBSD script and it should be easy to change the text it prints,
> shouldn't? I guess the work will be minimal and the benefit will be obvious.

The benefit is only obvious to you.  Everyone else who is capable of using
autoconf seems to also be capable of setting a simple environment variable.
It really is as easy as it seems.  My first time running autoconf looked
alot like this:

$ autoconf
Provide an AUTOCONF_VERSION environment variable, please
$ autoconf          <- lets try out that autocomplete feature                                                          
autoconf        autoconf-2.52   autoconf-2.57  
autoconf-2.13   autoconf-2.54   autoconf-2.59  
$ autoconf
$ export AUTOCONF_VERSION=2.59

This can only be described using phrases like "incredibly obvious" or
"painfully obvious".

Adam

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Re: autoconf error message suggestion

Marc Espie-2
Okay, guys, kill it.

The main issue I have with Karel is that he lacks basic tact.
But saying metaauto lacks some documentation is not necessarily
wrong.

However, since he's already written opensource software, maybe he could
contribute ? I wouldn't object to a set of manpages for metaauto.

I won't necessarily have time to write it myself, obviously.