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This is a simple library to check the Emacs reality by way of Emacs Lisp forms evaluated under $EMACS –batch -Q. This means you MUST have the shell variable EMACS set to a valid Emacs executable prior to the first call to any of the AX_ELISP_CHECK et al macros. Those work by saving their results to the file defined by calling AX_ELISP_CONFIG_FILE so you MUST call that prior, too. For example:

  dnl Arrange to save config answers in $top_builddir/lisp/config.el.
  dnl Set shell variable EMACS and AC_SUBST it, too.
  dnl (NB: This is a separate Autoconf Archive macro.)

In the following detailed descriptions, SYMBOL stands for an Emacs Lisp symbol, which may contain hyphens, e.g., ’define-error’ or ’org-src’. Likewise, FEATURE is an Emacs Lisp symbol (naming a feature). BODY and SUCCESS-EXPR are Emacs Lisp forms, zero or more for BODY and exactly one for SUCCESS-EXPR. In these forms you must take care to avoid apostrophe (U+27). Instead of ’foo, write (quote foo).


This arranges for future AX_ELISP_CHECK (et al) calls to save their results in FILENAME. May be called multiple times. FILENAME should be relative to the top build dir.


This is the general macro that the other AX_ELISP_CHECK* macros use. It constructs a short Emacs Lisp file comprising BODY and evaluates it via $EMACS –batch -Q. The exit value of this script depends on the result of evaluating SUCCESS-EXPR: non-nil is success and nil is failure. On success, append SYMBOL on a line of its own to the config file. This macro uses AC_CACHE_CHECK and passes DESCRIPTION to it.


This checks if (require (quote FEATURE)) is successful. If so, add featurep-FEATURE to the config file (NB the "featurep-" prefix).


This checks if (fboundp (quote SYMBOL)) is successful. If so, append SYMBOL to the config file. Optional 2nd arg is a space-separated list of features to require prior to the fboundp check.


This checks if (boundp (quote SYMBOL)) is successful. If so, append SYMBOL to the config file. Optional 2nd arg is a space-separated list of features to require prior to the boundp check.

Source Code

Download the latest version of ax_elisp.m4 or browse the macro’s revision history.


Copyright © 2016-2017 Thien-Thi Nguyen

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

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