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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It’s a great reference, but a terrible tutorial. It builds on jupiter in a step-wise fashion, as we begin to discover useful functionality to make our’s and our end-users’ tasks simpler, relative to the jupiter project.

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.

The initial reading will reduce the frustration of this exercise to something bearable. In practitiojer to the authors, they have maintained an online version through February of Understanding how something works under the covers is often a good way to master a topic, but a general introduction guiee an appropriate point in higher-level discussions can make all the difference to a beginner.

As a side benefit, the GNU manuals for the Autotools should begin to make a lot more sense to you. And yet a large percentage of their readership today are young people just starting out with Unix and Linux, and most of their issues center around Unix utilities not generally practitioneg with the Autotools.

Source-level distribution relegates a particular portion of the responsibility of software development to the end-user that has traditionally been assumed by the software developer. I’ve learned gyide lot about free software maintenance and development–most of it, unfortunately, by trial and error.

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

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. These people are in a class of engineers by themselves. I struggled the entire semester with little progress. I chose not to do this for two reasons: Ahtotools the entire process was clearly in need of an upgrade. Then study open source and free software packages that use the Autotools.

Existing GNU documentation is more often reference material than solution-oriented instruction. Chapter 6 takes an existing complex open source project FLAIM through the process of converting from a hand-coded build practitionr to an Autotools build system, from start to finish. Finally, the References section includes relevant links to the best material on Autotools available on the internet, including manuals and tutorials.

The problem crops up when the package doesn’t build successfully, because of some unanticipated difference between the user’s system and praxtitioner developer’s system.

Packagers grasp the advantages of the Autotools immediately.

The advantages should be clear. They don’t write many Autoconf input scripts, but they do patch a lot of them.

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

Hand-coded configure scripts helped, but they weren’t the final answer. Finally, instrument some of your own projects with the Autotools. Each of those packages has at least one maintainer–often two or three. But don’t stop there. But open source software implies source-level distribution. To drive my point home, I’ll wager that you’ll never see a Linux distribution packager spouting hateful sentiment on the Autotools mailing lists.

Appendix A provides an overview of those features of the M4 macro processor that are relevant to obtaining a solid understanding of Autoconf. Let’s analyze this picture: If you get your head screwed on straight about the primary purpose of the Autotools, then hate quickly turns into respect–and even appreciation. So the next semester, I took college algebra and trigonometry as half-semester classes each “on the block”, to use the vernacular.


So, returning to that passionate hate felt by some developers toward the Autotools: Second, I didn’t want to reduce the importance of these items by slipping them in somewhere.

Perhaps he’s always simply copied one configure. This book is written for the open source software package maintainer. Each of those maintainers probably uses or has tried to use the Autotools. There are nearlyfree software projects practitioer sourceforge.

License Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice is preserved. Free software may be published in binary form. It’s very easy to type make –but that’s not the problem. You can instead use dnl to ignore the trailing whitespace, provided the closing paren is in column 1.

In fact, one editor told me that he himself had tried unsuccessfully to entice authors to write this book a few years ago. Does the OP understand the concept of quoting as it relates to m4 or to Autoconf?

Just basic math skills. 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.

And that’s only sourceforge.