[Python-Dev] weird configure (autotools) setup

Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven asmodai at in-nomine.org
Sat Apr 12 12:00:27 CEST 2008

Why is CFLAGS in Makefile.pre.in specified as
whereas that will negate any CFLAGS you pass to configure?

A normal call to configure (as ./configure --help also explains) can contain
a CFLAGS specification, e.g.:

CFLAGS="-compiler_options" ./configure --config_options

Configure happily compiles and tests everything with the working CFLAGS (as
evident in config.log), but when it comes to the output substitution it
will, of course, not be overridden.

Now, I realize that configure.in talks about BASECFLAGS and OPT, but neither
of these are documented in the ./configure --help output, nor are they
standard when it comes to autotooling. Passing CFLAGS is the defacto

Furthermore, when passing compiler options to OPT, these are NOT taken along
in the configure tests, which means you might have passed faulty options but
configure will not detect any problems with them. You will only encounter
this when you start building.

So is there any rationale for all this?

Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven <asmodai(-at-)in-nomine.org> / asmodai
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