AUTOMAKE is a simple-to-use tool for re-building object and executable code after you have made changes to the Fortran and/or C source code. Invoke AUTOMAKE, typically by typing “AM”, and it updates your executable by compiling the minimum possible set of source files, and re-linking. In doing this, it takes account not only of changes or additions to source files, but also changes to INCLUDEd files and Fortran 95 modules. For example, if you change a file which is included in half a dozen source files, AUTOMAKE ensures that these files are re-compiled, even though they were not themselves changed.
AUTOMAKE can be regarded as a fully automatic alternative to the Linux style MAKE utility. Unlike MAKE, AUTOMAKE builds and maintains the dependency database (or “make-file”) itself. This removes a major source of error: users of a conventional MAKE may omit a dependency or specify it wrongly. If that happens, MAKE may appear to update a program correctly, while in fact building a corrupt hybrid of new and old code. The consequences may not be immediately apparent, and can be extremely hard to trace. This is precisely the sort of problem that MAKE is supposed to avoid.
AUTOMAKE users do not have that problem because dependency data is maintained automatically by AUTOMAKE. AUTOMAKE checks for new or deleted source files, and scans source code as necessary to update INCLUDE file dependencies.
Usually, the only data required from the user are the executable file name, and the compile and link commands; these are specified in a simple configuration file. Complex systems, perhaps involving different compilers, and source code spread across many directories can also be handled with minimal customisation effort.
AUTOMAKE is compatible with all common Fortran compilers, including those from Intel, GNU, PGI, Absoft, Oracle, Silverfrost and Lahey, and with C++ compilers from Intel and Microsoft, as well as common compilers on Linux and Mac.