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13.4.5 at top level or - this is the source from which autoconf generates the configure script.

  1. Declare the package and version.

    This is done by a set of lines like these:


    or, if you are using GNU automake, by a line like this:

    AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE(gettext, 0.22)

    Of course, you replace ‘gettext’ with the name of your package, and ‘0.22’ by its version numbers, exactly as they should appear in the packaged tar file name of your distribution (gettext-0.22.tar.gz, here).

  2. Check for internationalization support.

    Here is the main m4 macro for triggering internationalization support. Just add this line to


    This call is purposely simple, even if it generates a lot of configure time checking and actions.

  3. Have output files created.

    The AC_OUTPUT directive, at the end of your file, needs to be modified in two ways:

    AC_OUTPUT([existing configuration files po/],
    [existing additional actions])

    The modification to the first argument to AC_OUTPUT asks for substitution in the po/ directory. Note the ‘.in’ suffix used for po/ only. This is because the distributed file is really po/