( Leviticus

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 14.3 Leviticus
 Since my `configure' scripts determine the system's capabilities
 automatically, with no interactive user intervention, I decided to call
 the program that generates them Autoconfig.  But with a version number
 tacked on, that name would be too long for old UNIX file systems, so I
 shortened it to Autoconf.
    In the fall of 1991 I called together a group of fellow questers
 after the Holy Grail of portability (er, that is, alpha testers) to
 give me feedback as I encapsulated pieces of my handwritten scripts in
 `m4' macros and continued to add features and improve the techniques
 used in the checks.  Prominent among the testers were Franc,ois Pinard,
 who came up with the idea of making an `autoconf' shell script to run
 `m4' and check for unresolved macro calls; Richard Pixley, who
 suggested running the compiler instead of searching the file system to
 find include files and symbols, for more accurate results; Karl Berry,
 who got Autoconf to configure TeX and added the macro index to the
 documentation; and Ian Taylor, who added support for creating a C
 header file as an alternative to putting `-D' options in a `Makefile',
 so he could use Autoconf for his UUCP package.  The alpha testers
 cheerfully adjusted their files again and again as the names and
 calling conventions of the Autoconf macros changed from release to
 release.  They all contributed many specific checks, great ideas, and
 bug fixes.
Info Catalog ( Exodus ( History ( Numbers
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