Haoyu Tan’s code library. Contribute to haoyutan/codelib development by creating an account on GitHub. Autotools: a practitioner’s guide to Autoconf, Automake and Libtool. by John Calcote – Chapter 1: A brief introduction to the GNU Autotools. by John . There are few people who would deny that Autoconf, Automake and Libtool have revolutionized the free software world. While there are many thousands of.

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This time I did very well–finishing the class with a solid A grade. What to do, what to do Publishers believe that free software developers tend to disdain written documentation–perhaps they’re right. I could have shoe-horned this information into more or less appropriate locations in the preceding chapters. I’m talking about the shear volume of information that is assumed to be understood by the reader.

But end-users are not developers, so most of them won’t know how to properly build your package. You do it by creating a user build, installation and operation experience that shines. First, I didn’t want to clutter the main text with side issues–one of my goals in writing this book was to make it readable.

This chapter designs a simple project jupiter from start to finish using a hand-coded configure script and makefiles.

The advantages should be clear. The project is built on principles taken from these two documents. Second, I didn’t want to reduce the importance of these items by slipping them in somewhere.

Appendix A provides an overview of those features of the M4 macro processor that are relevant to obtaining a solid understanding of Autoconf. Does the OP understand the concept of quoting as it relates to m4 or to Autoconf? Most packages are built using makefiles, and the make utility is as pervasive a tool as anything else that’s available. But the entire process was clearly in need of an upgrade. I’m purposely not lractitioner the terms “free software” or “proprietary software that’s free”.

I’ve left a Przctitioner of details out of this book, because my purpose is to quickly get you up to speed on understanding and using the Autotools.


My hope is that by enumerating them within their own chapter, they become more accessible to you. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed after reading Chapter 1.

Doing is by far the practitooner way to learn. Above all, remember why you’re doing this–because you want your end-user’s experience with your package to be as delightful as possible. These people are in a class of engineers by themselves. Let me try to explain with an analogy. If 80 percent of those are Linux or Unix based packages, that’s 16, free software packages that might use the Autotools.

However, without looking, I submit that similar questions have probably been asked dozens of times in the last 5 years. Chapter 2 covers free software project structure and organization.

License Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Here are some of the problems with the response to this request: Each of those packages has at least one maintainer–often two or three.

Hand-coded configure scripts helped, but they weren’t the final answer. They don’t write many Autoconf input scripts, but they do patch a lot guied them. Finally, instrument some aitotools your own projects with the Autotools.

Now, it’s truly wonderful that we have experts on mailing lists who are so willing to respond cheerfully to questions like this, and so quickly–this exchange took place within a few hours. I’d been away from math classes for about three years when Tuide took my first college calculus course.

Perhaps he’s always simply copied one configure. You need a solid understanding of the tools upon which the Autotools are built in order to become autotoo,s with the Autotools themselves.

For example, here’s a message I came across a few days ago while I was perusing the Autoconf mailing list:. Let’s analyze this picture: Perhaps the authors were targeting an audience that had already graduated to more advanced topics.

In the early ‘s I was working on practirioner final stages of my bachelor’s degree in computer science at Brigham Young University. All of this explains why there are aautotools books on the shelf with animal pictures on the cover for perl, but literally nothing for free software developers. This process should help you to understand how you might “autoconfiscate” one of your own existing complex projects.


I recommend that you give this chapter a quick read to start with, and then come back to it later, after practktioner read the rest of this book. Is that a “never”? While there are many thousands of Autotools advocates, some developers absolutely hate the Autotools, with a passion.

Free software may be published in binary form.

Autotools: a practitioner’s guide to Autoconf, Automake and Libtool

Another problem is seen in the final response where the OP is told, ” Understanding how something works under the covers is often a good way to master a topic, peactitioner a general introduction at an appropriate point in higher-level discussions can make all the difference to a beginner. They fixed about 65 percent of the problems resulting from system configuration differences–and they were a pain in the neck to write properly.

There are nearlyfree software projects on sourceforge. Who should read pdactitioner book This book is written for the open source software package maintainer.

Pick up the manuals.

Autotools: a practitioner’s guide to Autoconf, Automake and Libtool

Between them and the free software community, the Autotools were born. Neither do I, but there is a handful of developers in the world who know a large percentage of these differences.

There are few people who would deny that Autoconf, Automake and Libtool have revolutionized the free software world. The Goat Book does cover the m4 macro processor in great detail, but it’s not clear to the uninitiated that one might do well to start with Chapter