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15.4 Obsolete Macros

Several macros are obsoleted in Autoconf, for various reasons (typically they failed to quote properly, couldn't be extended for more recent issues etc.). They are still supported, but deprecated: their use should be avoided.

During the jump from Autoconf version 1 to version 2, most of the macros were renamed to use a more uniform and descriptive naming scheme, but their signature did not change. See section 9.2 Macro Names, for a description of the new naming scheme. Below, if there is just the mapping from old names to new names for these macros, the reader is invited to refer to the definition of the new macro for the signature and the description.

Macro: AC_ALLOCA
AC_FUNC_ALLOCA

Macro: AC_ARG_ARRAY
removed because of limited usefulness

Macro: AC_C_CROSS
This macro is obsolete; it does nothing.

Macro: AC_CANONICAL_SYSTEM
Determine the system type and set output variables to the names of the canonical system types. See section 11.2 Getting the Canonical System Type, for details about the variables this macro sets.

The user is encouraged to use either AC_CANONICAL_BUILD, or AC_CANONICAL_HOST, or AC_CANONICAL_TARGET, depending on the needs. Using AC_CANONICAL_TARGET is enough to run the two other macros.

Macro: AC_CHAR_UNSIGNED
AC_C_CHAR_UNSIGNED

Macro: AC_CHECK_TYPE (type, default)
Autoconf, up to 2.13, used to provide this version of AC_CHECK_TYPE, deprecated because of its flaws. Firstly, although it is a member of the CHECK clan, singular sub-family, it does more than just checking. Secondly, missing types are not typedef'd, they are #define'd, which can lead to incompatible code in the case of pointer types.

This use of AC_CHECK_TYPE is obsolete and discouraged; see 5.9.2 Generic Type Checks, for the description of the current macro.

If the type type is not defined, define it to be the C (or C++) builtin type default, e.g., `short' or `unsigned'.

This macro is equivalent to:

 
AC_CHECK_TYPE([type],,
              [AC_DEFINE_UNQUOTED([type], [default],
                                  [Define to `default' if
                                   <sys/types.h> does not define.])])

In order to keep backward compatibility, the two versions of AC_CHECK_TYPE are implemented, selected by a simple heuristics:

  1. If there are three or four arguments, the modern version is used.

  2. If the second argument appears to be a C or C++ type, then the obsolete version is used. This happens if the argument is a C or C++ builtin type or a C identifier ending in `_t', optionally followed by one of `[(* ' and then by a string of zero or more characters taken from the set `[]()* _a-zA-Z0-9'.

  3. If the second argument is spelled with the alphabet of valid C and C++ types, the user is warned and the modern version is used.

  4. Otherwise, the modern version is used.

You are encouraged either to use a valid builtin type, or to use the equivalent modern code (see above), or better yet, to use AC_CHECK_TYPES together with

 
#if !HAVE_LOFF_T
typedef loff_t off_t;
#endif

Macro: AC_CHECKING (feature-description)
Same as `AC_MSG_NOTICE([checking feature-description...]'.

Macro: AC_COMPILE_CHECK (echo-text, includes, function-body, action-if-found, [action-if-not-found])
This is an obsolete version of AC_TRY_COMPILE itself replaced by AC_COMPILE_IFELSE (see section 6.4 Running the Compiler), with the addition that it prints `checking for echo-text' to the standard output first, if echo-text is non-empty. Use AC_MSG_CHECKING and AC_MSG_RESULT instead to print messages (see section 7.4 Printing Messages).

Macro: AC_CONST
AC_C_CONST

Macro: AC_CROSS_CHECK
Same as AC_C_CROSS, which is obsolete too, and does nothing :-).

Macro: AC_CYGWIN
Check for the Cygwin environment in which case the shell variable CYGWIN is set to `yes'. Don't use this macro, the dignified means to check the nature of the host is using AC_CANONICAL_HOST. As a matter of fact this macro is defined as:

 
AC_REQUIRE([AC_CANONICAL_HOST])[]dnl
case $host_os in
  *cygwin* ) CYGWIN=yes;;
         * ) CYGWIN=no;;
esac

Beware that the variable CYGWIN has a very special meaning when running CygWin32, and should not be changed. That's yet another reason not to use this macro.

Macro: AC_DECL_SYS_SIGLIST
Same as `AC_CHECK_DECLS([sys_siglist])'.

Macro: AC_DECL_YYTEXT
Does nothing, now integrated in AC_PROG_LEX.

Macro: AC_DIR_HEADER
Like calling AC_FUNC_CLOSEDIR_VOID andAC_HEADER_DIRENT, but defines a different set of C preprocessor macros to indicate which header file is found:

Header Old Symbol New Symbol
`dirent.h' DIRENT HAVE_DIRENT_H
`sys/ndir.h' SYSNDIR HAVE_SYS_NDIR_H
`sys/dir.h' SYSDIR HAVE_SYS_DIR_H
`ndir.h' NDIR HAVE_NDIR_H

Macro: AC_DYNIX_SEQ
If on DYNIX/ptx, add `-lseq' to output variable LIBS. This macro used to be defined as

 
AC_CHECK_LIB(seq, getmntent, LIBS="-lseq $LIBS")

now it is just AC_FUNC_GETMNTENT.

Macro: AC_EXEEXT
Defined the output variable EXEEXT based on the output of the compiler, which is now done automatically. Typically set to empty string if Unix and `.exe' if Win32 or OS/2.

Macro: AC_EMXOS2
Similar to AC_CYGWIN but checks for the EMX environment on OS/2 and sets EMXOS2.

Macro: AC_ERROR
AC_MSG_ERROR

Macro: AC_FIND_X
AC_PATH_X

Macro: AC_FIND_XTRA
AC_PATH_XTRA

Macro: AC_FUNC_CHECK
AC_CHECK_FUNC

Macro: AC_FUNC_WAIT3
If wait3 is found and fills in the contents of its third argument (a `struct rusage *'), which HP-UX does not do, define HAVE_WAIT3.

These days portable programs should use waitpid, not wait3, as wait3 is being removed from the Open Group standards, and will not appear in the next revision of POSIX.

Macro: AC_GCC_TRADITIONAL
AC_PROG_GCC_TRADITIONAL

Macro: AC_GETGROUPS_T
AC_TYPE_GETGROUPS

Macro: AC_GETLOADAVG
AC_FUNC_GETLOADAVG

Macro: AC_HAVE_FUNCS
AC_CHECK_FUNCS

Macro: AC_HAVE_HEADERS
AC_CHECK_HEADERS

Macro: AC_HAVE_LIBRARY (library, [action-if-found], [action-if-not-found], [other-libraries])
This macro is equivalent to calling AC_CHECK_LIB with a function argument of main. In addition, library can be written as any of `foo', `-lfoo', or `libfoo.a'. In all of those cases, the compiler is passed `-lfoo'. However, library cannot be a shell variable; it must be a literal name.

Macro: AC_HAVE_POUNDBANG
AC_SYS_INTERPRETER (different calling convention)

Macro: AC_HEADER_CHECK
AC_CHECK_HEADER

Macro: AC_HEADER_EGREP
AC_EGREP_HEADER

Macro: AC_INIT (unique-file-in-source-dir)
Formerly AC_INIT used to have a single argument, and was equivalent to:

 
AC_INIT
AC_CONFIG_SRCDIR(unique-file-in-source-dir)

Macro: AC_INLINE
AC_C_INLINE

Macro: AC_INT_16_BITS
If the C type int is 16 bits wide, define INT_16_BITS. Use `AC_CHECK_SIZEOF(int)' instead.

Macro: AC_IRIX_SUN
If on IRIX (Silicon Graphics UNIX), add `-lsun' to output LIBS. If you were using it to get getmntent, use AC_FUNC_GETMNTENT instead. If you used it for the NIS versions of the password and group functions, use `AC_CHECK_LIB(sun, getpwnam)'. Up to Autoconf 2.13, it used to be

 
AC_CHECK_LIB(sun, getmntent, LIBS="-lsun $LIBS")

now it is defined as

 
AC_FUNC_GETMNTENT
AC_CHECK_LIB(sun, getpwnam)

Macro: AC_LANG_C
Same as `AC_LANG(C)'.

Macro: AC_LANG_CPLUSPLUS
Same as `AC_LANG(C++)'.

Macro: AC_LANG_FORTRAN77
Same as `AC_LANG(Fortran 77)'.

Macro: AC_LANG_RESTORE
Select the language that is saved on the top of the stack, as set by AC_LANG_SAVE, remove it from the stack, and call AC_LANG(language).

Macro: AC_LANG_SAVE
Remember the current language (as set by AC_LANG) on a stack. The current language does not change. AC_LANG_PUSH is preferred.

Macro: AC_LINK_FILES (source..., dest...)
This is an obsolete version of AC_CONFIG_LINKS. An updated version of:

 
AC_LINK_FILES(config/$machine.h config/$obj_format.h,
              host.h            object.h)

is:

 
AC_CONFIG_LINKS(host.h:config/$machine.h
                object.h:config/$obj_format.h)

Macro: AC_LN_S
AC_PROG_LN_S

Macro: AC_LONG_64_BITS
Define LONG_64_BITS if the C type long int is 64 bits wide. Use the generic macro `AC_CHECK_SIZEOF([long int])' instead.

Macro: AC_LONG_DOUBLE
AC_C_LONG_DOUBLE

Macro: AC_LONG_FILE_NAMES
AC_SYS_LONG_FILE_NAMES

Macro: AC_MAJOR_HEADER
AC_HEADER_MAJOR

Macro: AC_MEMORY_H
Used to define NEED_MEMORY_H if the mem functions were defined in `memory.h'. Today it is equivalent to `AC_CHECK_HEADERS(memory.h)'. Adjust your code to depend upon HAVE_MEMORY_H, not NEED_MEMORY_H; see 5.1.1 Standard Symbols.

Macro: AC_MINGW32
Similar to AC_CYGWIN but checks for the MingW32 compiler environment and sets MINGW32.

Macro: AC_MINUS_C_MINUS_O
AC_PROG_CC_C_O

Macro: AC_MMAP
AC_FUNC_MMAP

Macro: AC_MODE_T
AC_TYPE_MODE_T

Macro: AC_OBJEXT
Defined the output variable OBJEXT based on the output of the compiler, after .c files have been excluded. Typically set to `o' if Unix, `obj' if Win32. Now the compiler checking macros handle this automatically.

Macro: AC_OBSOLETE (this-macro-name, [suggestion])
Make M4 print a message to the standard error output warning that this-macro-name is obsolete, and giving the file and line number where it was called. this-macro-name should be the name of the macro that is calling AC_OBSOLETE. If suggestion is given, it is printed at the end of the warning message; for example, it can be a suggestion for what to use instead of this-macro-name.

For instance

 
AC_OBSOLETE([$0], [; use AC_CHECK_HEADERS(unistd.h) instead])dnl

You are encouraged to use AU_DEFUN instead, since it gives better services to the user.

Macro: AC_OFF_T
AC_TYPE_OFF_T

Macro: AC_OUTPUT ([file]..., [extra-cmds], [init-cmds])
The use of AC_OUTPUT with argument is deprecated. This obsoleted interface is equivalent to:

 
AC_CONFIG_FILES(file...)
AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS([default],
                   extra-cmds, init-cmds)
AC_OUTPUT

Macro: AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS (extra-cmds, [init-cmds])
Specify additional shell commands to run at the end of `config.status', and shell commands to initialize any variables from configure. This macro may be called multiple times. It is obsolete, replaced by AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS.

Here is an unrealistic example:

 
fubar=27
AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS([echo this is extra $fubar, and so on.],
                   [fubar=$fubar])
AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS([echo this is another, extra, bit],
                   [echo init bit])

Aside from the fact that AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS requires an additional key, an important difference is that AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS is quoting its arguments twice, unlike AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS. This means that AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS can safely be given macro calls as arguments:

 
AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS(foo, [my_FOO()])

Conversely, where one level of quoting was enough for literal strings with AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS, you need two with AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS. The following lines are equivalent:

 
AC_OUTPUT_COMMANDS([echo "Square brackets: []"])
AC_CONFIG_COMMANDS([default], [[echo "Square brackets: []"]])

Macro: AC_PID_T
AC_TYPE_PID_T

Macro: AC_PREFIX
AC_PREFIX_PROGRAM

Macro: AC_PROG_CC_STDC
This macro has been integrated into AC_PROG_CC.

Macro: AC_PROGRAMS_CHECK
AC_CHECK_PROGS

Macro: AC_PROGRAMS_PATH
AC_PATH_PROGS

Macro: AC_PROGRAM_CHECK
AC_CHECK_PROG

Macro: AC_PROGRAM_EGREP
AC_EGREP_CPP

Macro: AC_PROGRAM_PATH
AC_PATH_PROG

Macro: AC_REMOTE_TAPE
removed because of limited usefulness

Macro: AC_RESTARTABLE_SYSCALLS
AC_SYS_RESTARTABLE_SYSCALLS

Macro: AC_RETSIGTYPE
AC_TYPE_SIGNAL

Macro: AC_RSH
removed because of limited usefulness

Macro: AC_SCO_INTL
If on SCO UNIX, add `-lintl' to output variable LIBS. This macro used to

 
AC_CHECK_LIB(intl, strftime, LIBS="-lintl $LIBS")

Now it just calls AC_FUNC_STRFTIME instead.

Macro: AC_SETVBUF_REVERSED
AC_FUNC_SETVBUF_REVERSED

Macro: AC_SET_MAKE
AC_PROG_MAKE_SET

Macro: AC_SIZEOF_TYPE
AC_CHECK_SIZEOF

Macro: AC_SIZE_T
AC_TYPE_SIZE_T

Macro: AC_STAT_MACROS_BROKEN
AC_HEADER_STAT

Macro: AC_STDC_HEADERS
AC_HEADER_STDC

Macro: AC_STRCOLL
AC_FUNC_STRCOLL

Macro: AC_ST_BLKSIZE
AC_CHECK_MEMBERS

Macro: AC_ST_BLOCKS
AC_STRUCT_ST_BLOCKS

Macro: AC_ST_RDEV
AC_CHECK_MEMBERS

Macro: AC_SYS_RESTARTABLE_SYSCALLS
If the system automatically restarts a system call that is interrupted by a signal, define HAVE_RESTARTABLE_SYSCALLS. This macro does not check if system calls are restarted in general--it tests whether a signal handler installed with signal (but not sigaction) causes system calls to be restarted. It does not test if system calls can be restarted when interrupted by signals that have no handler.

These days portable programs should use sigaction with SA_RESTART if they want restartable system calls. They should not rely on HAVE_RESTARTABLE_SYSCALLS, since nowadays whether a system call is restartable is a dynamic issue, not a configuration-time issue.

Macro: AC_SYS_SIGLIST_DECLARED
AC_DECL_SYS_SIGLIST

Macro: AC_TEST_CPP
AC_TRY_CPP, replaced with AC_PREPROC_IFELSE.

Macro: AC_TEST_PROGRAM
AC_TRY_RUN, replaced with AC_RUN_IFELSE.

Macro: AC_TIMEZONE
AC_STRUCT_TIMEZONE

Macro: AC_TIME_WITH_SYS_TIME
AC_HEADER_TIME

Macro: AC_TRY_COMPILE (includes, function-body, [action-if-found], [action-if-not-found])
Same as `AC_COMPILE_IFELSE([AC_LANG_SOURCE([[includes]], [[function-body]])], [action-if-true], [action-if-false])' (see section 6.4 Running the Compiler).

This macro double quotes both includes and function-body.

For C and C++, includes is any #include statements needed by the code in function-body (includes will be ignored if the currently selected language is Fortran 77). This macro also uses CFLAGS or CXXFLAGS if either C or C++ is the currently selected language, as well as CPPFLAGS, when compiling. If Fortran 77 is the currently selected language then FFLAGS will be used when compiling.

Macro: AC_TRY_CPP (input, [action-if-true], [action-if-false])
Same as `AC_PREPROC_IFELSE([AC_LANG_SOURCE([[input]])], [action-if-true], [action-if-false])' (see section 6.3 Running the Preprocessor).

This macro double quotes the input.

Macro: AC_TRY_LINK (includes, function-body, [action-if-found], [action-if-not-found])
Same as `AC_LINK_IFELSE([AC_LANG_SOURCE([[includes]], [[function-body]])], [action-if-true], [action-if-false])' (see section 6.4 Running the Compiler).

This macro double quotes both includes and function-body.

Depending on the current language (see section 6.1 Language Choice), create a test program to see whether a function whose body consists of function-body can be compiled and linked. If the file compiles and links successfully, run shell commands action-if-found, otherwise run action-if-not-found.

This macro double quotes both includes and function-body.

For C and C++, includes is any #include statements needed by the code in function-body (includes will be ignored if the currently selected language is Fortran 77). This macro also uses CFLAGS or CXXFLAGS if either C or C++ is the currently selected language, as well as CPPFLAGS, when compiling. If Fortran 77 is the currently selected language then FFLAGS will be used when compiling. However, both LDFLAGS and LIBS will be used during linking in all cases.

Macro: AC_TRY_LINK_FUNC (function, [action-if-found], [action-if-not-found])
This macro is equivalent to `AC_LINK_IFELSE([AC_LANG_CALL([[includes]], [[function-body]])], [action-if-true], [action-if-false])'.

Macro: AC_TRY_RUN (program, [action-if-true], [action-if-false], [action-if-cross-compiling])
Same as `AC_RUN_IFELSE([AC_LANG_SOURCE([[program]], [action-if-true], [action-if-false], [action-if-cross-compiling])' (see section 6.6 Checking Run Time Behavior).

Macro: AC_UID_T
AC_TYPE_UID_T

Macro: AC_UNISTD_H
Same as `AC_CHECK_HEADERS(unistd.h)'.

Macro: AC_USG
Define USG if the BSD string functions are defined in `strings.h'. You should no longer depend upon USG, but on HAVE_STRING_H; see 5.1.1 Standard Symbols.

Macro: AC_UTIME_NULL
AC_FUNC_UTIME_NULL

Macro: AC_VALIDATE_CACHED_SYSTEM_TUPLE ([cmd])
If the cache file is inconsistent with the current host, target and build system types, it used to execute cmd or print a default error message. This is now handled by default.

Macro: AC_VERBOSE (result-description)
AC_MSG_RESULT.

Macro: AC_VFORK
AC_FUNC_VFORK

Macro: AC_VPRINTF
AC_FUNC_VPRINTF

Macro: AC_WAIT3
AC_FUNC_WAIT3

Macro: AC_WARN
AC_MSG_WARN

Macro: AC_WORDS_BIGENDIAN
AC_C_BIGENDIAN

Macro: AC_XENIX_DIR
This macro used to add `-lx' to output variable LIBS if on Xenix. Also, if `dirent.h' is being checked for, added `-ldir' to LIBS. Now it is merely an alias of AC_HEADER_DIRENT instead, plus some code to detect whether running XENIX on which you should not depend:

 
AC_MSG_CHECKING([for Xenix])
AC_EGREP_CPP(yes,
[#if defined M_XENIX && !defined M_UNIX
  yes
#endif],
             [AC_MSG_RESULT([yes]); XENIX=yes],
             [AC_MSG_RESULT([no]); XENIX=])

Macro: AC_YYTEXT_POINTER
AC_DECL_YYTEXT


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