Automake is a tool for automatically generating `Makefile.in's from files called `Makefile.am'. Each `Makefile.am' is basically a series of `make' variable definitions(1), with rules being thrown in occasionally. The generated `Makefile.in's are compliant with the GNU Makefile standards.
The GNU Makefile Standards Document (*note Makefile Conventions: (standards)Makefile Conventions.) is long, complicated, and subject to change. The goal of Automake is to remove the burden of Makefile maintenance from the back of the individual GNU maintainer (and put it on the back of the Automake maintainer).
The typical Automake input file is simply a series of variable definitions. Each such file is processed to create a `Makefile.in'. There should generally be one `Makefile.am' per directory of a project.
Automake does constrain a project in certain ways; for instance it assumes that the project uses Autoconf (*note Introduction: (autoconf)Top.), and enforces certain restrictions on the `configure.in' contents(2).
Automake requires `perl' in order to generate the `Makefile.in's. However, the distributions created by Automake are fully GNU standards-compliant, and do not require `perl' in order to be built.
Mail suggestions and bug reports for Automake to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
---------- Footnotes ----------
(1) These variables are also called "make macros" in Make terminology, however in this manual we reserve the term "macro" for Autoconf's macros.
(2) Autoconf 2.50 promotes `configure.ac' over `configure.in'. The rest of this documentation will refer to `configure.in' as this use is not yet spread, but Automake supports `configure.ac' too.Created Mon Nov 8 17:42:02 2004 on tillpc with info_to_html version 0.9.6.