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Software Build Systems: Principles and Experience by Peter Smith

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Chapter 1. Build System Overview

This first chapter provides a complete overview of software build systems. Before diving into the details of how a build system works, it’s important to understand the high-level process of building software. This chapter also acts as a roadmap for the rest of the book.

The most common goal of a build system is to translate human-readable source code into an executable program. In addition, build systems support the packaging of web-based applications, the generation of documentation, the automatic analysis of source code, and many related activities. Although the exact details of this process vary for each programming language and for each operating system, the basic concepts are universal.

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