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Because Autoconf has been dormant for years, Automake provided
Autoconf-like macros for a while. Autoconf 2.50 now provides better
versions of these macros, integrated in the
AM_. But in order to ease the upgrading via
autoupdate, bindings to such
AM_ macros are provided.
Unfortunately Automake did not quote the name of these macros!
m4 find in `aclocal.m4' something like
expanded, replaced with its Autoconf definition.
Fortunately Autoconf catches pre-
AC_INIT expansions, and will
complain, in its own words:
$ cat configure.in AC_INIT AM_TYPE_PTRDIFF_T $ aclocal-1.4 $ autoconf ./aclocal.m4:17: error: m4_defn: undefined macro: _m4_divert_diversion actypes.m4:289: AM_TYPE_PTRDIFF_T is expanded from... ./aclocal.m4:17: the top level $
Future versions of Automake will simply no longer define most of these macros, and will properly quote the names of the remaining macros. But you don't have to wait for it to happen to do the right thing right now: do not depend upon macros from Automake as it is simply not its job to provide macros (but the one it requires by itself):
$ cat configure.in AC_INIT AM_TYPE_PTRDIFF_T $ rm aclocal.m4 $ autoupdate autoupdate: `configure.in' is updated $ cat configure.in AC_INIT AC_CHECK_TYPES([ptrdiff_t]) $ aclocal-1.4 $ autoconf $