Autotools: towards a standard approach for building and sharing codes

Speaker: Dr. Alexander Pletzer, Tech-X Corporation


You may be familiar with building open source codes using the configure and make commands that are at the heart of autotools, a collection of programs for configuring, building, and packaging software under Unix. However, a large number of codes in our community are still built using hand-written makefiles, an approach that works well for simple projects but becomes increasingly difficult to support in a world of multiple architectures (Linux, AIX, Solaris ..., 32 bit vs 64 bit), multiple compilers (~10 Fortran compilers), and multiple programming languages (C, C++, and Fortran). Autotools addresses these challenges by providing a standard set of tools to automate the creation of makefiles.
By walking through simple examples, I will try to convince you how you can start reaping the benefits of using autotools with little effort. I will show how to handle external library dependency, how to get mixed Fortran/C++ code to link, how to apply a filter to some of your files, and how to solve the Fortran module dependency issue.

Alexander Pletzer
Last modified: Wed Mar 28 16:27:59 EDT 2007