Writing specific ./configure programs and makefiles

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I have an application written in Perl which consists of a set of modules
and a number of programs that use them, together with lots of in-line
code, to implement the application function.  Installing it requires
copying programs into a number of different places (/usr/bin/myprog,
/usr/bin/local and the cgi-bin library as well as one of the Perl @INC
libraries), and there are configuration steps which depend on the
environment of the target machine.

So far I have hand-cranked a very specific ./configure program which
prompts the user for the desired location of the various files and for
machine-dependent things like local server addresses and user account
names; it generates a configuration file and some other local files, and
then writes a Makefile which contains "install", "update", "uninstall"
targets etc.

Question: is there Perl support for writing such a ./configure program?
  I'm aware of Makemaker for automating the installation of _modules_,
but I've got lots of _programs_ too.  In my mind what I think such
support might offer would include:

*  Read a file defining all the source and target libraries,
    specifying whether they were to be created or not, etc
*  Allow ./configure to add extra files to the installation tree;
    a config file, for example.
*  Choose a suitable library from @INC, based on some provided criteria.
*  Support generation of prompts to the user for alternate destinations.
*  Write commands to the Makefile to carry out certain
    pre-installation activities.
*  Write Makefile commands installing the various components.
*  Create the "uninstall" section to include all files installed
    and keep track of which directories can be deleted.
*  Save the parameters of the previous invocation of ./config for use in
    subsequent installations.

I had a look at GNU automake too, but I can't see how it would meet this


Henry Law            Manchester, England

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