libcurl's autoconf macros in dist tarballs
2021/4/2Tags: [ C & C++ ] [ Crossbow ] [ Personal Projects ] [ Today I learned ]
As mentioned on yesterday's post, I'm currently fixing crossbow so that the XML download phase is handled directly, and not delegated to libnxml. Besides fixing the redirection problem, this will enable a future removal of libmrss/libnxml (spoiler: in favour of Mini-XML).
Under the hood, libnxml uses libcurl, which is what I plan to use for the
The set of crossbow's dependencies is therefore not going to change.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to re-wire crossbow's
configure script so
that libcurl is required as a direct dependency.
Crossbow uses GNU Autoconf, and I happily found that libcurl provides some
handy autoconf macros,
although I initially wondered how should I use it.
Basically, I would like to use the
LIBCURL_CHECK_CONF macro, which is
This in turn must be available to autoconf, but who tells me that it is
going to be installed in the operating system of the user who builds
Bundling the file in my source tree would obviously work, but it would also be as bad in the same way as any bundling (that is, having a copy of the file, keeping it up to date, etc). Well, as it turns out this is not needed at all.
In short, the
libcurl.m4 file is provided by the development package of
the distribution, which makes it available to the host involved in the
creation of the distribution tarball ('make dist'). The distribution
tarball will contain a
configure script which will not be dependent on
libcurl.m4, in the same way as it will not be dependent on GNU Autoconf.
Although it might seem obvious to some, it is important to keep in mind that:
The user who wants to install the software from source is expected to download the distribution tarball, to run
./configure && make && sudo make install
The developer (and in the same way the user who wants to compile the source code as obtained from Git), is expected to install GNU Autotools, (and now, additionally, to satisfy the requirement of
libcurl.m4) before being able to generate the