[Rd] R-devel, autotools and libtool

Michael Felt aixtools at gmail.com
Fri Dec 11 13:21:54 CET 2015

Hello all,

I have spent the last week going through the configure/configure.ac 
file, basically line-by-line.
I am finding things related to AIX that have not been working well 
(i.e., cleanly) for 32-bit builds and are a "root-cause" for 64-bit 
builds to finish cleanly.

Trying to keep this short - you can also just skip to end to see my 

With regard to AIX, there is a lot of difficulty re: 64-bit and default 
a) AIX aka IBM built-libraries contain both 32 and 64 bit members, so 
there is no need for lib64
b) AIX Toolbox (-like) distros, built on GCC do have 32 and 64 bit 
directories, and while they may use lib64 the gcc compiler uses ppc64 
for it's 64-bit libraries. "Happy standardization"
c) IMHO - as I cannot speak for IBM - the "preference" for AIX is to not 
use /usr/local (Someone, maybe it
was BULL, opted for /opt/freeware as a prefix. That is where AIXTOOLBOX 
(family) install files. And the fun here is - some packages have mixed 
32 and 64 bit members, others use the lib64 convention.
In any case, forcing /usr/local (when $prefix is defined to something 
else) may break things (it has in earlier 'package' builds at least.) 
and the way it is now, /usr/local gets put in front of anything else).

${rhome} - not 'simple' to find where it is defined (not in config.ac, 
not in m4/R.m4 - that I understand)

Guessing here, but for 64-bit I expect this may be introducing one of 
the problems I have had:

## As from R 3.2.0 split up -L... and -lR
if test "${want_R_shlib}" = yes; then

And then, ignoring the rest until I get to:

## <FIXME>
## Completely disable using libtool for building shlibs until libtool
## fully supports Fortran and C++.
## AC_ARG_WITH([libtool],
## [AS_HELP_STRING([--with-libtool],[use libtool for building shared 
libraries [yes]])],
## [use_libtool="${withval}"],
## [use_libtool=yes])
## AM_CONDITIONAL(USE_LIBTOOL, [test "x${use_libtool}" = xyes])
## </FIXME>

Hence the question - is there a real interest on someone (like me) to 
examine libtool usage on a slightly used platform?


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