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15 Fast loading of frozen state

Some bigger m4 applications may be built over a common base containing hundreds of definitions and other costly initializations. Usually, the common base is kept in one or more declarative files, which files are listed on each m4 invocation prior to the user’s input file, or else each input file uses include.

Reading the common base of a big application, over and over again, may be time consuming. GNU m4 offers some machinery to speed up the start of an application using lengthy common bases.