For developers, Autotools is a quick and easy way to manage and package source code so users can compile and install software. Autotools is also well-supported by major packaging formats, like DEB and RPM, so maintainers of software repositories can easily prepare a project built with Autotools. Autotools works in stages: First, during the. Default settings include where support libraries are located, and where new software should be placed on the system.

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Magic Happens Here Do you remember the s? Veteran users of free software on Unix could testify that though there were a lot of programs distributed as source code back then over USENET , there was not a lot of consistency in how to compile and install it.

The more complicated a package was, the more likely it was to have its own unique build procedure that had to be learned first. And there were no widely used approaches to portability problems. Each software author handled them in a different way, if they did at all. Fast forward to the present.

It even does Windows. As it evolved in the s it demonstrated the power of some good ideas: sharing expertise, automating repetitive work, and having consistency where it is helpful without sacrificing flexibility where it is helpful. What is "it"? The community made the GNU Autotools widespread, as people adopted it for their own programs and extended it where they found that was needed. The creation of Libtool is that type of contribution. Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool were developed separately, to make tackling the problem of software configuration more manageable by partitioning it.

But they were designed to be used as a system, and they make more sense when you have documentation for the whole system. This book stands a level above the software packages, giving the expertise of its authors in using this whole system to its fullest.

It was written by people who have lived closest to the problems and their solutions in software. Magic happens under the hood, where experts have tinkered until the GNU Autotools engine can run on everything from jet fuel to whale oil. But there is a different kind of magic, in the cooperation and sharing that built a widely used system over the Internet, for anyone to use and improve. Now, as the authors share their knowledge and experience, you are part of the community, too.

Perhaps its spirit will inspire you to make your own contributions. David MacKenzie.


Introduction to GNU Autotools |

Faulmaran If a macro which accepts arguments is invoked, m4 will expand the macro regardless of how many arguments are provided. This is by far the biggest point of misunderstanding for new M4 users. Symbolic macros may be defined which have replacement text. The macro that we will examine closely is ifelse. The package available for download here is not blessed by the maintainers of autobook Within these pages you will find a browsable online version of the entire book, an errata for the first printing, and electronic versions of all the significant examples employed by the book.




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