Provided by: dist_3.5-236-0.1build1_all bug


       dist - introduction to dist


       The  dist  package  is  a  set  of tools meant to ease the construction and maintenance of
       portable software. There are four distinct parts in dist, and it is also meant to be  used
       with two external products, which are publicly available: mailagent and patch.

       The  first component is the Configure script generator, which is a portability tool. It is
       automatically build up by metaconfig from your sources and a set of  units.  Ideally,  the
       end-user  receiving  your  source  code will simply have to read your README file, run the
       Configure script (which is self-documented), and then run make. Your package  should  then
       build cleanly on every UNIX platform.

       The second component is the Makefile.SH generator, which is a generic configured Makefile,
       reusing some of the information figured out by Configure.  Although you may write your own
       Makefile  and  then use makeSH to transform it into a Makefile.SH, it is better to write a
       generic Jmakefile description, which does not rely on a  particular  position  within  the
       source tree, and then use jmake to recursively build your Makefiles.

       The third component is the package generator, which is used when it's time to build up the
       shell archives used to distribute your program. Although you may use  your  own  archiving
       mechanism,  the  one  included  here knows about RCS files and will properly check out the
       lattest revisions, leaving your working  files  alone.  The  makedist  program  will  also
       perform Copyright expansion, an useful feature when you share source files among more than
       one program, placed under distinct  Copyright information.

       The fourth and latest component is the patch generator,  used  to  make  updates  of  your
       sources,  which  can  later  be  applied  on  the original distribution by using the patch

       Before using any of the dist programs,  you  should  probably  identify  your  package  by
       running the packinit program, which will create a .package file in the top-level directory
       of your package.


       The dist package implements the following commands (those tagged as library  commands  are
       to  be  found  in the dist library and should not be made publicly available in everyone's

       bindex         builds the Index file (library).
       jmake          a Makefile.SH generator.
       jmkmf          bootstraps top-level Makefile.SH file.
       kitpost        posts distribution kits made by makedist.
       kitsend        sends distribution kits made by makedist.
       makeSH         wraps existing scripts into a .SH file.
       makedist       builds up distribution kits.
       makegloss      builds the Glossary file (library).
       manicheck      checks accuracy
       manifake       makes out of an existing MANIFEST.
       manilist       builds reports.
       metaconfig     a Configure script generator.
       metalint       a metaconfig unit consistency checker.
       metaxref       a metaconfig cross-reference builder.
       packinit       initializes a package (creates a  .package file).
       pat            main patch generator.
       patbase        resets patch base to current version.
       patcil         checks new version in.
       patclean       remove working version of up-to-date files.
       patcol         checks file out.
       patdiff        builds (contextual) diffs for the patch.
       patftp         copies patches to public ftp directory.
       patindex       builds a patch index.
       patlog         handles ChangeLog file updates.
       patmake        puts diffs together into a patch.
       patnotify      notifies users that new patches have been released.
       patpost        posts patch to some newsgroup.
       patsend        mails patch to some people.
       patsnap        builds a release snapshot with files and RCS revisions.


       Commands having a set of meaningful options (other than -h or -V) can also take  arguments
       from  the  ~/.dist_profile file, or whatever file the DIST environment variable points to.
       Each line of the file is in the format:

            profile-component: value

       with shell-style comments (#) allowed provided they start the line.

       Each command looks for a profile component entry matching its name and loads the value  as
       if  it  were  arguments  specified  on the command line. Those arguments precede any other
       argument specified manually, in case order is meaningful.

       Some commands may also be configured from  within  the  profile,  by  setting  a  specific
       variable attached to the command by a profile entry looking like this:

            cmdname-variable: value

       For  instance,  assuming the variable c-files is recognized by the metaconfig program, its
       default value could be overwritten by this profile entry:

            metaconfig-c-files: suitable value

       Only the first '-' after the command name is part of the syntax, the other one used in the
       variable  name  is  pure convention. Please refer to the manual page of each command for a
       list of valid profile variables which may be set.


       .MT            Temporary directory created by metaconfig and friends.
       .newer         A list of files newer than patchlevel.h, used by the patching tools.
       .package       Main configuration file used by most of the dist tools to make them smart.
       ChangeLog      The file where changes are recorded. Its name may be configured by  running
                      packinit, but this is the default "generic" name under which it is referred
                      to within the documentation.
       Configure      The generated configuration script.
       Glossary       A list of all the known portability symbols known by metaconfig. This  file
                      is located in the dist library directory.
       I.fui          Cross-reference file generated by metaxref, sorted by file, unit, item.
       I.uif          Cross-reference file generated by metaxref, sorted by unit, item, file.
       Index          A  list  of  all the rules known by jmake. This file is located in the dist
                      library directory.
       Jmakefile      Generic makefile description used by jmake.
       MANIFEST       List of all the files to be included in the distribution.  Usually  a  copy
                      (not a link) of   List of all the files to be taken into account by the dist tools.
       Makefile.SH    The   generated  configured  makefile  (via  Jmakefile)  or  hand-generated
                      Makefile making use of known metaconfig symbols.
       Obsolete       A list of obsolete symbol used and their new equivalents.
       RCS            Directory where RCS files are stored.
       README         Main file explaining how to build your package.
       U              Private unit directory.
       Wanted         File used by metaconfig, listing all the symbols used by the sources.
       bugs           Directory where patches are stored.
       check.extra    Extra files present in, generated by manicheck.
       check.want     Missing files from, generated by manicheck.
       config_h.SH    Generated config.h template.
       confmagic.h    Magic symbol remapping, activated via metaconfig's -M option.
       hints          This directory lists all the configuration hints for your package.
       patchlevel.h   File  recording  your  package  patch  level,  should  not   be   part   of
            , but may be listed in MANIFEST, at your discretion.
       users          File  recording the users of your package, generated by mailagent's package
                      command (see the MailAuthor.U unit and mailagent 3.0).


       The following environment variable is paid attention to:

       DIST           Location of the dist profile, defaults to ~/.dist_profile. This variable is
                      subject to ~name substitution, even if your shell does not support it.


       By chronological order:

       Larry Wall <> (dist 2.0 in 1988)
       Harlan Stenn <> (worked on dist 3.0 1990-1992)
       Raphael Manfredi <> (dist 3.0 and integration 1991-1995)

       Please  look  at  the  Credits  file in the distribution source tree for a list of all the
       known contributors.


       jmake(1), metaconfig(1), pat(1).

                                               ram                                        DIST(7)