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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There are nearlyfree software projects on sourceforge. The Autotools manuals are well-written and concise, but more importantly, they’re complete.

Chapter 2 covers free software project structure and organization. With these concepts, you’ll be prepared to understand some of the most fundamental rationale behind architectural decisions made by the Autotools developers.

The initial reading will reduce the frustration of this exercise to something bearable.

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

Does the original poster OP even know what m4 is? But end-users are not developers, so most of them won’t know how to properly build your package. Learning by example is an excellent way to begin to retain the information you’ve read.

The advantages should be clear. This book is written for the open source software package maintainer.

Neither do I, but there is a handful of developers in the world who know a large percentage of these differences. 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.


Pick up the autotkols.

How wrong I was. Not because mailing list posters don’t read the archives although I’ll admit that they probably don’t often do sobut rather because this problem can rear its ugly head in many different ways, none of which look remotely related to each other in the eyes of the uninitiated.

For example, here’s a message I came across a few days ago while I was perusing the Autoconf mailing list:. I’m talking about the shear volume of information that is assumed to be understood by the reader. 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.

After reading this book, they should be a cake walk. Each of those packages has at least one maintainer–often two or three. But, as fast as free software moves these days, a book published practitionfr might as well have been published in You’ll still autitools to handle the operation experience, of yuide, but Autotools can provide a practitionsr multi-platform build and installation experience–with far less effort peactitioner your part.

My hope is that by enumerating them within their own chapter, they become more accessible to you. Let’s analyze this picture: 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 example provided by this chapter will use the concepts presented in previous chapters to take it from the original hand-coded makefiles to a complete Autotools project, implementing all of the features provided by the original build system. Then study open source and free software packages that use the Autotools.


In each case, I’ve provided a graphic depiction of the flow of data from hand-coded input files, to final output files. The same concept applies to understanding the Autotools.

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

Just basic math skills. Let me try to explain with an analogy. You can instead use dnl to ignore the trailing whitespace, provided the closing paren is in column 1. 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.

Another problem is seen in the final response where the OP is told, ” I’ve been told by publishers that there is simply no market for such a book. I’ve organized it in the best way I practitiiner how to help you get your head around the functionality provided by the Autotools.

I just didn’t have the background I needed. 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.

The use of the term “open source” is critical in this context. If you get your head screwed on straight about the primary purpose of the Autotools, then hate quickly turns into respect–and even appreciation.