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From: kevin_vanhorn_at_[hidden]
Date: 2001-03-15 13:27:58

--- In boost_at_y..., Beman Dawes <bdawes_at_a...> wrote:
>> 2. Why not use a configure script to figure out what C++ features
>> the compiler/standard library support and so generate
>> <boost/config.hpp>?
> Several people have mentioned this approach in the past. Could you
> explain how that would work in a platform and toolset independent
> way?

Truth to tell, I'm still learning the details of this stuff myself.
Here's what I know. To allow portability between the wide variety of
Unix and Unix-like systems out there, a lot of free software used in
the Unix world comes with a configure shell script that you run first
before building the software. The configure script runs tests to
check for the existence of various utilities, header files, functions,
libraries, etc, and produces an appropriate Makefile from a template
as well as (sometimes) creating a config.h header file. I believe
that it does some of these tests by trying to compile various code
snippets and seeing if the compilation succeeds and (in some cases)
checking that the compiled code behaves as expected.

There is a free tool called autoconf to assist one in the creation of
such scripts. This stuff can run on Windows as well, if you have the
Cygwin tools installed.

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