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9.13 Automatic de-ANSI-fication

Although the GNU standards allow the use of ANSI C, this can have the effect of limiting portability of a package to some older compilers (notably the SunOS C compiler).

Automake allows you to work around this problem on such machines by de-ANSI-fying each source file before the actual compilation takes place.

If the `Makefile.am' variable AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS (see section 17. Changing Automake's Behavior) contains the option ansi2knr then code to handle de-ANSI-fication is inserted into the generated `Makefile.in'.

This causes each C source file in the directory to be treated as ANSI C. If an ANSI C compiler is available, it is used. If no ANSI C compiler is available, the ansi2knr program is used to convert the source files into K&R C, which is then compiled.

The ansi2knr program is simple-minded. It assumes the source code will be formatted in a particular way; see the ansi2knr man page for details.

Support for de-ANSI-fication requires the source files `ansi2knr.c' and `ansi2knr.1' to be in the same package as the ANSI C source; these files are distributed with Automake. Also, the package `configure.in' must call the macro AM_C_PROTOTYPES (see section 5.6 Autoconf macros supplied with Automake).

Automake also handles finding the ansi2knr support files in some other directory in the current package. This is done by prepending the relative path to the appropriate directory to the ansi2knr option. For instance, suppose the package has ANSI C code in the `src' and `lib' subdirs. The files `ansi2knr.c' and `ansi2knr.1' appear in `lib'. Then this could appear in `src/Makefile.am':

 
AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS = ../lib/ansi2knr

If no directory prefix is given, the files are assumed to be in the current directory.

Files mentioned in LIBOBJS which need de-ANSI-fication will not be automatically handled. That's because configure will generate an object name like `regex.o', while make will be looking for `regex_.o' (when de-ANSI-fying). Eventually this problem will be fixed via autoconf magic, but for now you must put this code into your `configure.in', just before the AC_OUTPUT call:

 
# This is necessary so that .o files in LIBOBJS are also built via
# the ANSI2KNR-filtering rules.
LIBOBJS=`echo $LIBOBJS|sed 's/\.o /\$U.o /g;s/\.o$/\$U.o/'`

Note that automatic de-ANSI-fication will not work when the package is being built for a different host architecture. That is because automake currently has no way to build ansi2knr for the build machine.


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