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       autogen - The Automated Program Generator


       autogen [-flag [value]]... [--opt-name[[=| ]value]]... [ <def-file> ]

       AutoGen creates text files from templates using external definitions.


       AutoGen  is  designed for generating program files that contain repeti-
       tive text with varied substitutions.  The goal is to simplify the main-
       tenance  of  programs  that  contain large amounts of repetitious text.
       This is especially valuable if there are several blocks  of  such  text
       that must be kept synchronized.

       One  common example is the problem of maintaining the code required for
       processing program options.  Processing options requires a  minimum  of
       four  different  constructs be kept in proper order in different places
       in your program.  You need at least: The flag  character  in  the  flag
       string, code to process the flag when it is encountered, a global state
       variable or two, and a line in the usage  text.   You  will  need  more
       things  besides this if you choose to implement long option names, con-
       figuration file processing, environment variables and so on.

       All of this can be done mechanically; with  the  proper  templates  and
       this program.


   The following options select definitions, templates and scheme functions to
       -L dir, --templ-dirs=dir
              Search for templates in DIR.  This option may appear  an  unlim-
              ited number of times.

              Add a directory to the list of directories autogen searches when
              opening a  template,  either  as  the  primary  template  or  an
              included  one.   The  last entry has the highest priority in the
              search list.  That is to  say,  they  are  searched  in  reverse

       -T tpl-file, --override-tpl=tpl-file
              Use  TPL-FILE  for  the template.  This option may not be preset
              with environment variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              Definition files specify the standard template  that  is  to  be
              expanded.  This option will override that name and expand a dif-
              ferent template.

       -l tpl-file, --lib-template=tpl-file
              Load AutoGen macros from TPL-FILE.  This option  may  appear  an
              unlimited number of times.

              DEFINE  macros are saved from this template file for use in pro-
              cessing the main macro  file.   Template  text  aside  from  the
              DEFINE macros is is ignored.

              Do  not  use  this.  Instead, use the INCLUDE macro in your tem-


       --definitions=file, --no-definitions
              Read definitions from FILE.  The no-definitions form  will  dis-
              able  the  option.   This  option  is  enabled by default.  This
              option may not be preset with environment variables or  in  ini-
              tialization (rc) files.

              Use  this  argument to specify the input definitions file with a
              command line option.  If you do not specify  this  option,  then
              there  must  be a command line argument that specifies the file,
              even if only to specify stdin with a hyphen (-).  Specify, --no-
              definitions  when  you  wish  to  process a template without any
              active AutoGen definitions.

              name or path name of shell to use.

              By default, when AutoGen is built, the configuration  is  probed
              for  a reasonable Bourne-like shell to use for shell script pro-
              cessing.  If a particular template needs an alternate shell,  it
              must  be specified with this option on the command line, with an
              environment variable (SHELL) or in the configuration/initializa-
              tion file.

       -m, --no-fmemopen
              Do not use in-mem streams.

              If   the   local  C  library  supports  "fopencookie(3GNU)",  or
              "funopen(3BSD)" then AutoGen prefers  to  use  in-memory  stream
              buffer opens instead of anonymous files.  This may lead to prob-
              lems if there is a shortage of virtual memory.  If, for  a  par-
              ticular  application,  you  run out of memory, then specify this
              option.  This is unlikely in  a  modern  64-bit  virtual  memory

              On platforms without these functions, the option is accepted but
              ignored.  fmemopen(POSIX) is not  adequate  because  its  string
              buffer  is not reallocatable.  open_memstream(POSIX) is also not
              adequate because the stream is only opened for output.   AutoGen
              needs  a  reallocatable  buffer  available  for both reading and

              characters considered equivalent.   The  default  char-list  for
              this option is:

              This option will alter the list of characters considered equiva-
              lent.  The default are the three characters, "_-^".   (The  last
              is  conventional  on a Tandem/HP-NonStop, and I used to do a lot
              of work on Tandems.)

   The following options modify how output is handled
       -b name, --base-name=name
              Specify NAME as the base name for output.  This option  may  not
              be  preset  with environment variables or in initialization (rc)

              A template may specify the exact name of the output file.   Nor-
              mally,  it  does not.  Instead, the name is composed of the base
              name of the  definitions  file  with  suffixes  appended.   This
              option  will override the base name derived from the definitions
              file name.  This is required if there is no definitions file and
              advisable if definitions are being read from stdin.  If the def-
              initions are being read from standard in, the base name defaults
              to  stdin.  Any leading directory components in the name will be
              silently removed.  If you wish the output file to  appear  in  a
              particular  directory, it is recommended that you "cd" into that
              directory first, or use directory names in the format specifica-
              tion for the output suffix lists, see: pseudo macro.

       --source-time, --no-source-time
              set  mod  times  to latest source.  The no-source-time form will
              disable the option.

              If you stamp your output files with the DNE macro  output,  then
              your  output files will always be different, even if the content
              has not really changed.  If you use this option, then the  modi-
              fication  time of the output files will change only if the input
              files change.  This will help reduce unneeded builds.

       --writable, --not-writable
              Allow output files to be writable.  The not-writable  form  will
              disable the option.

              This  option will leave output files writable.  Normally, output
              files are read-only.

   The following options are often useful while debugging new templates
       They specify limits that prevent the template from taking  overly  long
       or producing more output than expected.

              Limit  on  increment loops.  This option takes an integer number
              as its argument.  The value of lim is constrained to being:
                  exactly -1, or
                  in the range  1 through 0x1000000
              The default lim for this option is:

              This option prevents runaway loops.  For example, if you acci-
              dentally specify, "FOR x (for-from 1) (for-to -1) (for-by 1)",
              it will take a long time to finish.  If you do have more than
              256 entries in tables, you will need to specify a new limit with
              this option.

       -t seconds, --timeout=seconds
              Limit server shell operations to SECONDS.  This option takes an
              integer number as its argument.  The value of seconds is con-
              strained to being:
                  in the range  0 through 3600

              AutoGen works with a shell server process.  Most normal commands
              will complete in less than 10 seconds.  If, however, your com-
              mands need more time than this, use this option.

              The valid range is 0 to 3600 seconds (1 hour).  Zero will dis-
              able the server time limit.

              tracing level of detail.  This option takes a keyword as its
              argument.  The argument sets an enumeration value that can be
              tested by comparing them against the option value macro.  The
              available keywords are:
                  nothing       debug-message server-shell
                  templates     block-macros  expressions
                  or their numeric equivalent.

              The default level for this option is:

              This option will cause AutoGen to display a trace of its tem-
              plate processing.  There are six levels, each level including
              messages from the previous levels:

              nothing Does no tracing at all (default)

              debug-message Print messages from the "DEBUG" AutoGen macro
              (see: DEBUG).

              server-shell Traces all input and output to the server shell.
              This includes a shell "independent" initialization script about
              30 lines long.  Its output is discarded and not inserted into
              any template.

              templates Traces the invocation of DEFINEd macros and INCLUDEs

              block-macros Traces all block macros.  The above, plus IF, FOR,
              CASE and WHILE.

              expressions Displays the results of expression evaluations.

              everything Displays the invocation of every AutoGen macro, even
              TEXT macros (i.e. the text outside of macro quotes).  Addition-
              ally, if you rebuild the ``expr.ini'' file with debugging
              enabled, then all calls to AutoGen defined scheme functions will
              also get logged:
                  cd ${top_builddir}/agen5
                  DEBUG_ENABLED=true bash bootstrap.dir expr.ini
                  make CFLAGS='-g -DDEBUG_ENABLED=1'

              Be aware that you cannot rebuild this source in this way without
              first having installed the autogen executable in your search
              path.  Because of this, "expr.ini" is in the distributed source
              list, and not in the dependencies.

              tracing output file or filter.

              The output specified may be a file name, a file that is appended
              to, or, if the option argument begins with the pipe operator
              (|), a command that will receive the tracing output as standard
              in.  For example, --traceout='| less' will run the trace output
              through the less program.  Appending to a file is specified by
              preceding the file name with two greater-than characters (>>).

              Show the definition tree.  This option may not be preset with
              environment variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              This will print out the complete definition tree before process-
              ing the template.

              Show the definitions used.  This option may not be preset with
              environment variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              This will print out the names of definition values searched for
              during the processing of the template, whether actually found or
              not.  There may be other referenced definitions in a template in
              portions of the template not evaluated.  Some of the names
              listed may be computed names and others AutoGen macro arguments.
              This is not a means for producing a definitive, all-encompassing
              list of all and only the values used from a definition file.
              This is intended as an aid to template documentation only.

       -C, --core
              Leave a core dump on a failure exit.

              Many systems default to a zero sized core limit.  If the system
              has the sys/resource.h header and if this option is supplied,
              then in the failure exit path, autogen will attempt to set the
              soft core limit to whatever the hard core limit is.  If that
              does not work, then an administrator must raise the hard core
              size limit.

   These options can be used to control what gets processed
       in the definitions files and template files" They specify which outputs
       and parts of outputs to produce.

       -s suffix, --skip-suffix=suffix
              Skip the file with this SUFFIX.  This option may appear an
              unlimited number of times.  This option may not be preset with
              environment variables or in initialization (rc) files.  This
              option must not appear in combination with any of the following
              options: select-suffix.

              Occasionally, it may not be desirable to produce all of the out-
              put files specified in the template.  (For example, only the .h
              header file, but not the .c program text.)  To do this specify
              --skip-suffix=c on the command line.

       -o suffix, --select-suffix=suffix
              specify this output suffix.  This option may appear an unlimited
              number of times.  This option may not be preset with environment
              variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              If you wish to override the suffix specifications in the tem-
              plate, you can use one or more copies of this option.  See the
              suffix specification in the @ref{pseudo macro} section of the
              info doc.

       -D value, --define=value
              name to add to definition list.  This option may appear an
              unlimited number of times.

              The AutoGen define names are used for the following purposes:

              Sections of the AutoGen definitions may be enabled or disabled
              by using C-style #ifdef and #ifndef directives.

              When defining a value for a name, you may specify the index for
              a particular value.  That index may be a literal value, a define
              option or a value #define-d in the definitions themselves.

              The name of a file may be prefixed with $NAME/.  The $NAME part
              of the name string will be replaced with the define-d value for

              When AutoGen is finished loading the definitions, the defined
              values are exported to the environment with, putenv(3).  These
              values can then be used in shell scripts with ${NAME@} refer-
              ences and in templates with (getenv "NAME").

              While processing a template, you may specify an index to
              retrieve a specific value.  That index may also be a define-d

              It is entirely equivalent to place this name in the exported
              environment.  Internally, that is what AutoGen actually does
              with this option.

       -U name-pat, --undefine=name-pat
              definition list removal pattern.  This option may appear an
              unlimited number of times.  This option may not be preset with
              environment variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              Similar to 'C', AutoGen uses #ifdef/#ifndef preprocessing direc-
              tives.  This option will cause the matching names to be removed
              from the list of defined values.

   This option is used to automate dependency tracking
       -M type, --make-dep[=type]
              emit make dependency file.  This option may appear an unlimited
              number of times.  This option may not be preset with environment
              variables or in initialization (rc) files.

              This option behaves fairly closely to the way the -M series of
              options work with the gcc compiler, except that instead of just
              emitting the predecessor dependencies, this also emits the suc-
              cessor dependencies (output target files).  By default, the out-
              put dependency information will be placed in <base-name>.d, but
              may also be specified with -MF<file>.  The time stamp on this
              file will be manipulated so that it will be one second older
              than the oldest primary output file.

              The target in this dependency file will normally be the depen-
              dency file name, but may also be overridden with -MT<targ-name>.
              AutoGen will not alter the contents of that file, but it may
              create it and it will adjust the modification time to match the
              start time.

              NB: these second letters are part of the option argument, so -MF
              <file> must have the space character quoted or omitted, and -M
              "F <file>" is acceptable because the F is part of the option

              -M may be followed by any of the letters M, F, P, T, Q, D, or G.
              However, only F, Q, T and P are meaningful.  All but F have
              somewhat different meanings.  -MT<name> is interpreted as mean-
              ing <name> is a sentinel file that will depend on all inputs
              (templates and definition files) and all the output files will
              depend on this sentinel file.  It is suitable for use as a real
              make target.  Q is treated identically to T, except dollar char-
              acters ('$') are doubled.  P causes a special clean (clobber)
              phoney rule to be inserted into the make file fragment.  An
              empty rule is always created for building the list of targets.

              This is the recommended usage:
                    -MFwhatever-you-like.dep -MTyour-sentinel-file -MP
              and then in your Makefile, make the autogen rule:
                    -include whatever-you-like.dep
                    clean_targets += clean-your-sentinel-file
                        autogen -MT$@@ -MF$*.d .....
                    local-clean :
                        rm -f $(clean_targets)

              The modification time on the dependency file is adjusted to be
              one second before the earliest time stamp of any other output
              file.  Consequently, it is suitable for use as the sentinel file
              testifying to the fact the program was successfully run.
              (-include is the GNU make way of specifying "include it if it
              exists".  Your make must support that feature or your bootstrap
              process must create the file.)

              All of this may also be specified using the DEPENDENCIES_OUTPUT
              or AUTOGEN_MAKE_DEP environment variables.  If defined, depen-
              dency information will be output.  If defined with white space
              free text that is something other than true, false, yes, no, 0
              or 1, then the string is taken to be an output file name.  If it
              contains a string of white space characters, the first token is
              as above and the second token is taken to be the target (sen-
              tinel) file as -MT in the paragraphs above.  DEPENDENCIES_OUTPUT
              will be ignored if there are multiple sequences of white space
              characters or if its contents are, specifically, false, no or 0.

   help, version and option handling
       -?, --help
              Display usage information and exit.

       -!, --more-help
              Pass the extended usage information through a pager.

       -> [cfgfile], --save-opts[=cfgfile]
              Save the option state to cfgfile.  The default is the last con-
              figuration file listed in the OPTION PRESETS section, below.
              The command will exit after updating the config file.

       -< cfgfile, --load-opts=cfgfile, --no-load-opts
              Load options from cfgfile.  The no-load-opts form will disable
              the loading of earlier config/rc/ini files.  --no-load-opts is
              handled early, out of order.

       -v [{v|c|n}], --version[={v|c|n}]
              Output version of program and exit.  The default mode is `v', a
              simple version.  The `c' mode will print copyright information
              and `n' will print the full copyright notice.


       Any option that is not marked as not presettable may be preset by load-
       ing values from configuration ("RC" or ".INI") file(s) and values from
       environment variables named:
         AUTOGEN_<option-name> or AUTOGEN
       The environmental presets take precedence (are  processed  later  than)
       the  configuration  files.   The homerc files are "$HOME", and ".".  If
       any of these are directories, then the file .autogenrc is searched  for
       within those directories.


       See OPTION PRESETS for configuration environment variables.


       See OPTION PRESETS for configuration files.


       Here is how the man page is produced:
           autogen -Tagman-cmd.tpl -MFman-dep -MTstamp-man opts.def

       This  command produced this man page from the AutoGen option definition
       file.  It  overrides  the  template  specified  in  opts.def  (normally
       options.tpl) and uses agman-cmd.tpl.  It also sets the make file depen-
       dency output to man-dep and the sentinel  file  (time  stamp  file)  to
       man-stamp.   The  base  of  the  file  name is derived from the defined

       The texi invocation document is produced via:
           autogen -Tagtexi-cmd.tpl -MFtexi-dep -MTtexi-stamp opts.def


       One of the following exit values will be returned:

       0 (EXIT_SUCCESS)
              Successful program execution.

              The command options were misconfigured.

              An error was encountered processing the template.

              The definitions could not be deciphered.

       4 (EXIT_LOAD_ERROR)
              An error was encountered during the load phase.

       128 (EXIT_SIGNAL)
              autogen exited due to  catching  a  signal.   If  your  template
              includes  string formatting, a number argument to a "%s" format-
              ting element will trigger a segmentation  fault.   Autogen  will
              catch the seg fault signal and exit with AUTOGEN_EXIT_SIGNAL(5).
              Alternatively, AutoGen may have been interrupted with a  kill(2)
              signal.   Subtract  128  from the actual exit code to detect the
              signal number.

       66 (EX_NOINPUT)
              A specified configuration file could not be loaded.

       70 (EX_SOFTWARE)
              libopts had an internal operational error.  Please report it  to
      Thank you.


       Bruce Korb


       Copyright  (C)  1992-2013 Bruce Korb all rights reserved.  This program
       is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License,  version
       3 or later.


       Please send bug reports to:


       This  manual  page  was  AutoGen-erated from the autogen option defini-

GNU AutoGen (5.18.1) 08 Sep 2013 autogen(1)

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Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved. Last modified: Sun Sep 8 12:45:46 PDT 2013