m4

 
 GNU M4
 ******
 
 This manual is for GNU M4 (version 1.4.5, 15 July 2006), a package
 containing an implementation of the m4 macro language.
 
    Copyright (C) 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006
 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
 
      Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
      document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,
      Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software
      Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover texts
      being "A GNU Manual," and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a)
      below.  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled
      "GNU Free Documentation License."
 
      (a) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is: "You have freedom to copy and
      modify this GNU Manual, like GNU software.  Copies published by
      the Free Software Foundation raise funds for GNU development."
 
    GNU `m4' is an implementation of the traditional UNIX macro
 processor.  It is mostly SVR4 compatible, although it has some
 extensions (for example, handling more than 9 positional parameters to
 macros).  `m4' also has builtin functions for including files, running
 shell commands, doing arithmetic, etc.  Autoconf needs GNU `m4' for
 generating `configure' scripts, but not for running them.
 
    GNU `m4' was originally written by Rene' Seindal, with subsequent
 changes by Franc,ois Pinard and other volunteers on the Internet.  All
 names and email addresses can be found in the files `AUTHORS' and
 `THANKS' from the GNU M4 distribution.
 
    This is release 1.4.5.  It is now considered stable:  future
 releases in the 1.4.x series are only meant to fix bugs, increase speed,
 or improve documentation.  However...
 
    An experimental feature, which would improve `m4' usefulness, allows
 for changing the syntax for what is a "word" in `m4'.  You should use:
      ./configure --enable-changeword
    if you want this feature compiled in.  The current implementation
 slows down `m4' considerably and is hardly acceptable.  In the future,
 `m4' 2.0 will come with a different set of new features that provide
 similar capabilities, but without the inefficiencies, so changeword
 will go away and _you should not count on it_.
 

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