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Revealing the mystery around the GNU Autotools is likely to raise the interest of a wide audience of software developers, system administrators and technical managers.
Software developers, especially those involved with free software projects, will find it valuable to understand how to use these tools. The GNU Autotools are enjoying growing popularity in the free software community. Developers of in-house projects can reap the same benefits by using these tools.
System administrators can benefit from a working knowledge of these tools – a common task for system administrators is to compile and install packages which commonly use the GNU Autotools framework. Occasionally, a feature test may produce a false result, leading to a compilation error or a misbehaving program. Some hacking is usually sufficient to get the package to compile, but knowing the correct way to fix the problem can assist the package maintainer.
Finally, technical managers may find the discussion to be an insight into the complex nature of software portability and the process of building a large project.
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