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5.8.1 Autoconf Background

As explained in the GNU Autoconf Manual, any package needs configuration at build-time (see Introduction in The GNU Autoconf Manual). If your package uses Guile (or uses a package that in turn uses Guile), you probably need to know what specific Guile features are available and details about them.

The way to do this is to write feature tests and arrange for their execution by the ‘configure’ script, typically by adding the tests to ‘’, and running autoconf to create ‘configure’. Users of your package then run ‘configure’ in the normal way.

Macros are a way to make common feature tests easy to express. Autoconf provides a wide range of macros (see Existing Tests in The GNU Autoconf Manual), and Guile installation provides Guile-specific tests in the areas of: program detection, compilation flags reporting, and Scheme module checks.

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