Back: Introduction
Forward: What the book is not
Up: Introduction
FastForward: History
Top: Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool
Contents: Table of Contents
Index: Index
About: About this document

1.1 What this book is

This book is a tutorial for Autoconf, Automake and Libtool, hereafter referred to as the GNU Autotools. The GNU manuals that accompany each tools adequately document each tool in isolation. Until now, there has not been a guide that has described how these tools work together.

As these tools have evolved over the years, design decisions have been made by contributors who clearly understand the associated problems, but little documentation exists that captures why things are the way they are. By way of example, one might wonder why some Autoconf macros use shell constructs like:

if test "x$var" = xbar; then
  echo yes 1>&5

instead of the simpler:

if [ $var = bar ]; then
  echo yes 1>&5

Much of this reasoning is recorded in this book.

This document was generated by Gary V. Vaughan on February, 8 2006 using texi2html