How to Read This Manual

Welcome to the abuild manual! You may always find the latest copy of this manual on abuild's website. This manual is designed to get you up and running with abuild quickly: the most essential and common topics are presented first so that you can just start at the beginning and stop reading when you feel that you've seen enough to get going. Then, when you are ready, you can come back for documentation on the full depth of abuild's functionality. If you come across something in the first reading that you don't understand, it's probably safe to skip it and come back when you're more comfortable. As each new concept is presented, it is enhanced with examples. A list of all the examples in the document can be found in Appendix L, List of Examples. If you are just looking for changes from previous versions of abuild, please see Appendix A, Release Notes and Appendix B, Major Changes from Version 1.0 to Version 1.1.

This manual is divided into four parts. Each part of the document draws on material introduced in the earlier parts. Although earlier parts of the documentation are intended to be understandable without the material from the later parts, they contain forward cross references where appropriate.

In Part I, “Quick Start”, we cover basic information that should help you come up to speed on using abuild for day-to-day work. It is geared toward people who are working on an existing software baseline that uses abuild. In Part I, you will learn about what abuild is and the types of problems it was designed to solve, be introduced to some basic terminology, and see a few examples of how to perform some simple build operations. This part of the manual is very short and is designed to be readable in one sitting. Casual users of abuild may have no need to read past Part I.

In Part II, “Normal Operation”, we introduce the most common features of abuild. All the basic features are covered, and a few advanced features are covered. All the information you need for simple projects has been presented by the end of Part II.

In Part III, “Advanced Functionality”, we introduce advanced topics. By the end of Part III, you will have been exposed to every feature of abuild.

Part IV, “Appendices” consists of a small handful of appendices.

For those wishing to go still deeper, the abuild source code is heavily commented, and the software comes with a thorough automated test suite that covers every feature of the software and many error conditions as well.