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 file `THANKS' from the
GNU `m4' distribution.
This is release 1.4. It is now to be considered stable, future
releases are only meant to fix bugs, increase speed, or improve
An experimental feature, which would improve `m4' usefulness, allows
for changing the syntax for what is a "word" in `m4'. You should use:
if you want this feature compiled in. The current implementation slows
down `m4' considerably and is hardly acceptable. So, it might go away,
do not count on it yet.