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Autotools: A Practioner's Guide to Gnu Autoconf, Automake, and Libtoolby John Calcote
Synopses & Reviews
The GNU Autotools make it easy for developers to create software that is portable across many Unix-like operating systems. Although the Autotools are used by thousands of open source software packages, they have a notoriously steep learning curve. And good luck to the beginner who wants to find anything beyond a basic reference work online.
Autotools Autotools is the first book to offer programmers a tutorial-based guide to the GNU build system. Author John Calcote begins with an overview of high-level concepts and a quick hands-on tour of the philosophy and design of the Autotools. He then tackles more advanced details, like using the M4 macro processor with Autoconf, extending the framework provided by Automake, and building Java and C# sources. He concludes the book with detailed solutions to the most frequent problems encountered by first-time Autotools users.
You'll learn how to:
Autotools focuses on two projects: Jupiter, a simple "Hello, world!" program, and FLAIM, an existing, complex open source effort containing four separate but interdependent subprojects. Follow along as the author takes Jupiter's build system from a basic makefile to a full-fledged Autotools project, and then as he converts the FLAIM projects from complex hand-coded makefiles to the powerful and flexible GNU build system.
Book News Annotation:
Autotools is a collection of computer programs that are used to package GNU\Linux and Unix software and make it compatible across multiple versions and varieties of these operating systems. Intended for open source software package maintainers and advanced software developers, this comprehensive guide presents both the theoretical underpinnings of the tools as well as tutorial style examples. Code snippets and clear directions throughout, aid the user in working through common tasks in this difficult to master software suite. Calcote is a senior software engineer at Novell Inc. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A practical and complete guide to the components of the GNU Autotools, including Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool. The GNU Autotools (the GNU Build System) is a group of utilities designed to make it easy for developers to create software that is portable across many Unix-like operating systems. Unfortunately, most Autotools documentation is merely reference material, and a serious guide to the tools is needed. With its solution-oriented instruction and cookbook-style approach, Autotools: A Practical Guide is the first book to offer programmers a tutorial-based guide to the Autotools. Beginning with high-level concepts, the book discusses many use-cases and examples, and ends with more advanced details, like using the M4 Macro Processor with Autoconf, extending the framework provided by Automake, building Java and CSharp sources, and more. The book also shows readers how to structure and organize open source software, master the Autotools framework and functional project configuration scripts, use extensions to Autoconf, convert an existing, complex open source project from a custom build system to an Autotools build system, and write their own Autotools macros. Rather than teach specific Autotools, Autotools: A Practical Guide focuses on the key Autotools concepts.
The GNU Autotools make it easy for developers to create software that is portable across many UNIX-like operating systems. Thousands of open source software packages use the Autotools, but the learning curve is unfortunately steep, and it can be difficult for a beginner to find anything more than basic reference material on using the powerful software suite.
In Autotools, author John Calcote begins with an overview of high-level concepts; then tackles more advanced topics, like using the M4 macro processor with Autoconf, extending the Automake framework, and building Java and C# sources.
You'll learn how to:
Autotools also includes a variety of complete projects that you're encouraged to work through to gain a real-world sense of how to become an Autotools practitioner. For example, you'll turn the FLAIM and Jupiter projects' hand-coded, makefile-based build systems into a powerful Autotools-based build system.
About the Author
John Calcote is a Senior Software Engineer and Architect at Novell, Inc. He's been writing and developing portable networking and system-level software for nearly 20 years and is active in developing, debugging, and analyzing diverse open source software packages. He is currently a project administrator of the OpenSLP, OpenXDAS, and DNX projects (open source software available at http://www.sourceforge.net), as well as the Novell-sponsored FLAIM database project (open source software available at http://developer.novell.com).
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