Autotools: A Practioner's Guide to GNU Autoconf, Automake, by John Calcote

By John Calcote

The GNU Autotools make it effortless for builders to create software program that's moveable throughout many UNIX-like working structures. millions of open resource software program programs use the Autotools, however the studying curve is sadly steep, and it may be tough for a newbie to discover whatever greater than simple reference fabric on utilizing the robust software program suite.

In Autotools, writer John Calcote starts off with an outline of high-level recommendations; then tackles extra complex issues, like utilizing the M4 macro processor with Autoconf, extending the Automake framework, and construction Java and C# sources.

You'll learn the way to:
• grasp the Autotools construct procedure to maximise your software's portability
• Generate Autoconf configuration scripts to simplify the compilation process
• Produce transportable makefiles with Automake
• construct cross-platform software program libraries with Libtool
• Write your individual Autoconf macros

Autotools additionally encompasses a number of whole tasks that you're inspired to paintings via to realize a real-world feel of the way to turn into an Autotools practitioner. for instance, you'll flip the FLAIM and Jupiter projects' hand-coded, makefile-based construct platforms right into a robust Autotools-based construct system.

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Sample text

But you should realize that none of these are real targets: A real target is a filesystem object that is produced by the build system—usually a file. When building an executable called doofabble, for instance, you’d expect to be able to enter: $ make doofabble For this project, doofabble is a real target, and this command works for the doofabble project. However, requiring the user to enter real targets on the make command line is asking a lot of them, because each project must be built differently—make doofabble, make foodabble, make abfooble, and so on.

Automake extends Autoconf by adding an extensive set of macros, but Autoconf was not really designed with this level of extensibility in mind. ac. ac. m4 file in order to include the Automake macros. Since both user-defined macros and M4 itself are considered advanced concepts, this was deemed too harsh a requirement. m4. 8. m4 file is merely referenced with an m4_include statement at the end of the file. book Page 11 Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:38 PM To make it clear to readers that Autoconf doesn’t depend on Automake (and perhaps due to a bit of stubbornness), the GNU Autoconf Manual doesn’t make much mention of the aclocal utility.

M4 box shortly. book Page 9 Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:38 PM The primary task of this suite of tools is to generate a configuration script that can be used to configure a project build directory. This script will not rely on the Autotools themselves; in fact, autoconf is designed to generate configuration scripts that will run on all Unix-like platforms and in most variations of the Bourne shell. This means that you can generate a configuration script using autoconf and then successfully execute that script on a machine that does not have the Autotools installed.

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