( Gnits

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 19 The effect of `--gnu' and `--gnits'
 The `--gnu' option (or `gnu' in the `AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS' variable) causes
 `automake' to check the following:
    * The files `INSTALL', `NEWS', `README', `COPYING', `AUTHORS', and
      `ChangeLog' are required at the topmost directory of the package.
    * The options `no-installman' and `no-installinfo' are prohibited.
    Note that this option will be extended in the future to do even more
 checking; it is advisable to be familiar with the precise requirements
 of the GNU standards.  Also, `--gnu' can require certain non-standard
 GNU programs to exist for use by various maintainer-only targets; for
 instance in the future `pathchk' might be required for `make dist'.
    The `--gnits' option does everything that `--gnu' does, and checks
 the following as well:
    * `make dist' will check to make sure the `NEWS' file has been
      updated to the current version.
    * The file `COPYING.LIB' is prohibited.  The LGPL is apparently
      considered a failed experiment.
    * `VERSION' is checked to make sure its format complies with Gnits
    * If `VERSION' indicates that this is an alpha release, and the file
      `README-alpha' appears in the topmost directory of a package, then
      it is included in the distribution.  This is done in `--gnits'
      mode, and no other, because this mode is the only one where version
      number formats are constrained, and hence the only mode where
      Automake can automatically determine whether `README-alpha' should
      be included.
    * The file `THANKS' is required.
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