Autoconf

Autoconf [7] changed this paradigm almost overnight. David MacKenzie started the Autoconf project in 1991, but a look at the AUTHORS file in the Savannah Autoconf project[8] repository will give you an idea of the number of people that had a hand in making the tool. Although configuration scripts were long and complex, users only needed to specify a few variables when executing them. Most of these variables were simply choices about components, features, and options, such as: Where can the build system find libraries and header files? Where do I want to install my finished products? Which optional components do I want to build into my products?

Instead of modifying and debugging hundreds of lines of supposedly portable shell script, developers ...

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