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Introducing Autoperl

From: mark
Subject: Introducing Autoperl
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:10:14 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i


I'd like to let the Autoconf developers know about a related project I'm 
working on. It's called Autoperl, and it's a partial reimplementation of 
Autoconf/Automake but written in Perl. It tries to be 100% syntax 
compatible with the GNU toolchain, and uses the same terminology and 

"Why would anyone do such a stupid thing?", you might ask...

I am a veteran Perl programmer, but I have always admired the Autoconf 
configuration system and wanted something similar for my Perl programs. 
Autoconf is *really* geared towards C/C++ development, and doesn't mesh 
well with Perl, IMHO. (Yes, I know about the bin_SCRIPTS macro)

What Autoperl does differently is:

 * Automatically checks for Perl library dependencies

 * Validates the syntax of all Perl source code files during the 
compilation phase

 * Combines all Perl modules into a single file like ld(1)

 * Creates a "config.h" in pure Perl and exports the 
configuration variables into the application.

"But this is the Autoconf list; I don't care about Autoperl!" you may 

I wanted the Autoconf developers to be aware of this new project and to 
think of ways of connecting Autoperl with Autoconf. It should be 
possible to implement the Autoperl-specific macros as native Autoconf 
macros. My goal is for Autoperl to work silently in the background and 
do as little as possible, while Autoconf/Automake calls upon Autoperl as 

One final thought: the next version of Autoperl will support a 'make 
package' target that will run 'make install DESTDIR=/tmp/foo' and 
package the results as a native binary package (RPM,DEP,TGZ,etc.) This 
would enable developers to build native packages for many different 
systems and architectures without any extra effort.

It would be great if Autoperl and Autoconf could cooperate! 

The Autoperl home page is: 

You can reach me at: 



Mark Heily
Chief Autoperl hacker

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