16. Writing Portable C with GNU Autotools

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My first task in industry was to port a large C++ application from one Unix platform to another. My colleagues immediately offered their sympathies and I remember my initial reaction--`what's the big deal?'. After all, this application used the C++ standard library, a modest subset of common Unix system calls and C++ was approaching ISO standardization. Little did I know what lay ahead--endless hurdles imposed by differences to C++ implementations in use on those platforms.

Being essentially a superset of the C programming language, C++ suffers from all of the machine-level portability issues described in 15. Writing Portable C with GNU Autotools. In addition to this, variability in the language and standard libraries present additional trouble when writing portable C++ programs.

There have been comprehensive guides written on C++ portability (see section 16.5 Further Reading). This chapter will attempt to draw attention to the less portable areas of the C++ language and describe how the GNU Autotools can help you overcome these (see section 16.4 How GNU Autotools Can Help). In many instances, the best approach to multi-platform C++ portability is to simply re-express your programs using more widely supported language constructs. Fortunately, this book has been written at a time when the C++ language standard has been ratified and C++ implementations are rapidly conforming. Gladly, as time goes on the necessity for this chapter will diminish.

This document was generated by Gary V. Vaughan on May, 24 2001 using texi2html

GNU Autoconf, Automake and Libtool
GNU Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool
ISBN: 1578701902
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 290

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