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c-conf

In short...

Questions or comments? Don't hesitate to mail me.

Use Cases

You'll find a number of typical use cases for c-conf below. All these are written from the perspective of a Makefile: c-conf gets called in the Makefile to determine a couple of relevant settings. The settings are then later used to construct a program. Note that not all use cases are described below - just the most often used ones.

Caching results

C-conf will optionally cache results in a file. This greatly speeds up the compilation of programs. The cache is always selected using flag -c of c-conf (all below examples do this). Note that a Makefile should also remove the cache during a "make clean":
  # Makefile: Get construction options
  MY_OPT = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache ... whatever ...)

  clean:
          # Remember to kill the c-conf cache
          rm -f conf.cache

Getting the name of the C++ compiler

This finds out the name of the C++ compiler. When more than one version exists on the system, the highest one is selected. Similarly, c-conf can find the C-compiler.
  # Makefile: Get the compiler name.
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # Now use it:
  foo.o: foo.cc
          $(CPP_COMP) -c -o foo.o -c foo.cc

  # Remember to remove the cache file during cleanup:
  clean:
          rm -f foo.o conf.cache

Optimization Flags

This tries to guess the optimization flags given the system and/or compiler.
  # Makefile: get the optimization flags
  OPTFLAGS = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache optflags)
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # Now use it:
  foo.o: foo.cc
            $(CPP_COMP) $(OPTFLAGS) -o foo.o -c foo.cc

What libs do we have?

On some systems you might need to add -lpthread to the linkage command to get threads. On others you don't. How do you know whether you need the library flag? And where the library resides?
  # Makefile: Find out whether we need socket and pthread libs
  LIBS = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache lib socket pthread)
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # Now use it:
  myprog: myprog.o
          $(CPP_COMP) -o myprog myprog.o $(LIBS)
In the above example, $(LIBS) might be expanded to "-L/usr/local/lib -lpthread" or similar.

Do we have a header?

Some systems have e.g. "string.h", others don't. Here's how to find out:
  # Makefile: find out whether we have string.h
  STRINGH = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache ifheader string.h GOT_STRING_H
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # Now use it:
  foo.o: foo.cc
          $(CPP_COMP) -c $(STRINGH) foo.cc
The macro $(STRINGH) will either get expanded to "-DGOT_STRING_H" or to nothing. In the C++ source (or a header) it is used as follows:
  // foo.cc: let's see if we need to bring string.h aboard
  #ifdef GOT_STRING_H
  #include <string.h>
  #endif

Do we have a C/C++ function?

Sometimes you need to find whether a system has a function (else you might need to define it yourself). Here's how. For example, the following determines whether strnstr() is available or not:
  # Makefile: do we have strnstr() available?
  STRNSTR = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache libfunction01 strnstr HAVE_STRNSTR)
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # Let's use it
  foo.o: foo.cc
          $(CPP_COMP) -c $(STRNSTR) foo.cc
The macro $(STRNSTR) will be expanded to either "-DHAVE_STRNSTR=1" or to "-DHAVE_STRNSTR=0". This can be used in the code:
  // foo.cc: If we don't have strnstr(), define it so we can use it later
  #if HAVE_STRNSTR == 0
  char *strnstr(char const *stack, char const *needle, size_t len) {
      // code goes here
  }
  #endif

Shared library construction

Shared libraries have different names on different systems, and there are different compilation flags and linkage flags involved. Here's an example:
  # In the Makefile:
  CPP_COMP = $(shell c-conf -c conf.cache c++-compiler)

  # What is the filename of a shared library "test" (might be libtest.so etc).
  SHLIB = $(shell -c conf.cache so-name test)

  # What are the compilation flags to make an object that goes into a
  # shared library, might be -fPIC and so on
  COMPFLAGS = $(shell -c conf.cache so-cflags)

  # What are the linkage flags when making a shared object out of .o
  # files (might be -shared, or -dynamiclib and so on)
  LINKFLAGS = $(shell -c conf.cache so-lflags)

  # Construction of the shared lib out of foo.cc and bar.cc:
  $(SHLIB): foo.o bar.o
         $(CPP_COMP) -o $(SHLIB) $(LINKFLAGS) foo.o bar.o
  %.o: %.cc
         $(CPP_COMP) -c $(COMPFLAGS) $<

Synopsis

Below is the "usage info" that c-conf gives when invoked without arguments:

This is c-conf, the C compilation configuration helper V1.17
Copyright (c) e-tunity. Contact <info@e-tunity.com> for information.

Usage:
    c-conf [flags] header FILE.H [FILE.H...] Searches for directories
	containing the named header(s), returns appropriate -I flags.
    c-conf [flags] headerdir DIR [DIR...]: Searches for directory
	containing headers, returns appropriate -I flags.
    c-conf [flags] ifheader FILE.H DEFINE Searches for the named header.
	If found, a compilation flag -DDEFINE is returned, indicating that
	the header is found.
    c-conf [flags] ifheader01 FILE.H DEFINE Similar to ifheader, but the
        returned define is either DEFINE=0 or DEFINE=1
    c-conf [flags] lib NAME [NAME...]: Searches for libNAME.{a,so,...},
	returns appropriate -L and -l flags.
    c-conf [flags] libfunction FUNC DEFINE Creates a small program that
	tries to use FUNC. If this succeeds, a -DDEFINE=1 flag is returned.
    c-conf [flags] libfunction01 FUNC DEFINE Similar to libfunction, but
        the returned define is DEFINE=0 or DEFINE=1
    c-conf [flags] libvariable01 VAR DEFINE Creates a small program that
        accesses variable VAR. If this succeeds, -DDEFINE=1 is returned.
    c-conf [flags] so-name NAME: Returns filename of a shared-object for NAME,
        e.g. libNAME.so
    c-conf [flags] so-cflags: Returns compilation flags to build shared
        objects
    c-conf [flags] so-lflags: Returns linkage flags to produce a shared-object
	library
    c-conf [flags] c-compiler: Returns name of C compiler
    c-conf [flags] c++-compiler: Returns name of C++ compiler
    c-conf [flags] optflags: Returns fast-code optimization flags.

Optional flags:
    -c CACHE: settings will be dynamically determined unless present in
       CACHE; new settings will be added to CACHE
    -h: to show short help for an action, e.g. try 'c-conf -h so-name'
    -s: to suppress showing of warnings
    -v: to show verbose messages
    -I DIR[,DIR..]: to add DIR(s) to the searchpath for headers, default
	searchpath is /usr/include /usr/local/include /opt/local/include /sw/include /include
    -L DIR[,DIR..]: to add DIR(s) to the searchpath for libraries, default
	searchpath is /usr/lib /usr/lib64 /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu /usr/local/lib /usr/local/lib64 /opt/local/lib /opt/local/lib64 /usr/ucblib /sw/lib /sw/lib64 /lib
    -l LIB[,LIB..]: to add LIB(s) to C compiler invocations, when checking
        for lib functions or variables

Meaningful output is returned on stdout. Verbose messages, warnings and
errors go to stderr.