aclocal is expected to disappear. This feature really
should not be offered by Automake. Automake should focus on
generating Makefiles; dealing with M4 macros really is
Autoconf’s job. The fact that some people install Automake just to use
aclocal, but do not use
automake otherwise is an
indication of how that feature is misplaced.
The new implementation will probably be done slightly differently. For instance, it could enforce the m4/-style layout discussed in Local Macros.
We have no idea when and how this will happen. This has been discussed several times in the past, but someone still has to commit to that non-trivial task.
From the user point of view,
aclocal’s removal might turn
out to be painful. There is a simple precaution that you may take to
make that switch more seamless: never call
Keep this guy under the exclusive control of
Automake’s rebuild rules. Hopefully you won’t need to worry about
things breaking, when
aclocal disappears, because everything
will have been taken care of. If otherwise you used to call
aclocal directly yourself or from some script, you will
quickly notice the change.
Many packages come with a script called bootstrap or
autogen.sh, that will just call
the right order. Actually this is precisely what
can do for you. If your package has such a bootstrap or
autogen.sh script, consider using
should simplify its logic a lot (less things to maintain, yum!), it’s
even likely you will not need the script anymore, and more to the point
you will not call
aclocal directly anymore.
For the time being, third-party packages should continue to install
public macros into /usr/share/aclocal/. If
is replaced by another tool it might make sense to rename the
directory, but supporting /usr/share/aclocal/ for backward
compatibility should be really easy provided all macros are properly
written (see Extending aclocal).