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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Thus was born the ubiquitous configure script–initially a simple shell script that configured the end-user’s environment so that the make utility could successfully build a source package on the end-user’s system. How this book is organized Chapter 1 presents a huide overview of the packages that are considered part of the GNU Autotools.

And therein lies the problem. One in which the primary method of obtaining software functionality is downloading a source archive, unpacking, building and installing the built products on your system.

They fixed about 65 percent of the problems resulting from system configuration differences–and they were a pain in the neck to write properly. The purpose of the Autotools is to make life simpler for the end-user. In fact, one editor told me that he himself had tried unsuccessfully to entice authors to write this book a few years ago. Neither do I, but there is a handful of developers in the world who know a large percentage of these differences.

You’ll still need to handle the operation experience, of course, but Autotools can provide a great multi-platform build and installation experience–with far less effort on your part.

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For example, here’s a message I came across a few days ago while I was perusing the Autoconf mailing list:. Existing GNU documentation is more often reference material than solution-oriented instruction.

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

They don’t write many Autoconf input scripts, but they do patch a lot of them. Put enough of these under your belt and overall mastery of the Autotools is ultimately inevitable. The project is built on principles taken from these two documents. In fairness to the authors, they have maintained an online version through February of I recommend you start with this book.

They’re generally quiet on mailing lists–asking an occasional well-considered question when they really need practittioner lurking and learning, for the most part. The problem crops up when the package doesn’t build successfully, because of some unanticipated difference between the user’s system and the developer’s system. So, returning to that passionate hate felt by some developers toward the Autotools: However, without looking, I submit that similar questions have probably been asked dozens of times in the last 5 years.

Proprietary software may be given away. Chapter 2 covers free software project structure and organization.

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

Even if he did understand what he was to do–perhaps based on having seen dnl being used in other configure. More to the point however, a solid understanding of the basic functionality of sedm4shell script and other utilities is critical to understanding the proper use of the Autotools.

Let me try to explain with an analogy. 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 In the early practitione I was working on the final stages of my bachelor’s degree in computer science at Brigham Young University.


Chapter 1 presents a general overview of the packages that are considered part of the GNU Autotools. Above all, remember why you’re doing this–because you want your end-user’s experience with ppractitioner package to be as delightful as possible.

The initial reading will reduce the frustration of this exercise to something bearable. It’s very easy to type make –but that’s not the problem. How wrong I was. Here are some of the problems with the response to this request: This chapter also goes into detail on the GNU coding standards and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard documents, both of which have played vital roles in the design of the Autotools.

What to do, what to do Oh, yes–you can write object-oriented software in C. If you already have a basic familiarity with these packages, you can probably skip these chapters, but please feel free to revisit them if you find yourself in over your head with the remaining chapters.

They’re free, and links are provided in the References section of this book, autotpols they’re easy to find with a practitjoner internet query. The Autotools manuals are well-written and concise, but more importantly, they’re complete.