Chapter 3. Packaging Your Project
Everything is building and it appears
That you’re all architects and engineers.
If you’ve read this far, then you have met the tools that solve the core problems for dealing with C code, like debugging and documenting it. If you’re eager to get going with C code itself, then feel free to skip ahead to Part II. This chapter and the next will cover some heavy-duty tools intended for collaboration and distribution to others: package-building tools and a revision-control system. Along the way, there will be many digressions about how you can use these tools to write better even when working solo.
I mentioned it in the introduction, but nobody reads introductions, and it bears repeating: the C community holds itself to a very high standard of interoperability. Yes, if you look around your office or coffee shop, everybody is using a homogeneous set of tools, but there is great diversity outside of any local area. Personally, I get emails reasonably often from people using my code on systems that I’ve never seen in person; I think this is amazing, and am always gratified that I strove for interoperability over the easier path of writing code that runs fine on my platform.
In the present day, Autotools, a system for autogenerating the perfect makefile for a given system, is central to how code is distributed. You’ve already met it in “Using Libraries from Source”, where you used it to quickly install the GNU Scientific Library. ...