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Shurui Zhou, Jafar Al-Kofahi, Tien Nguyen, Christian Kästner, Sarah Nadi.  2015.  Extracting configuration knowledge from build files with symbolic analysis. RELENG '15 Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Release Engineering.

Build systems contain a lot of configuration knowledge about a software system, such as under which conditions specific files are compiled. Extracting such configuration knowledge is important for many tools analyzing highly-configurable systems, but very challenging due to the complex nature of build systems. We design an approach, based on SYMake, that symbolically evaluates Makefiles and extracts configuration knowledge in terms of file presence conditions and conditional parameters. We implement an initial prototype and demonstrate feasibility on small examples.

Jafar Al-Kofahi, Tien Nguyen, Christian Kästner.  2016.  Escaping AutoHell: a vision for automated analysis and migration of autotools build systems. RELENG 2016 Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Release Engineering.

GNU Autotools is a widely used build tool in the open source community. As open source projects grow more complex, maintaining their build systems becomes more challenging, due to the lack of tool support. In this paper, we propose a platform to build support tools for GNU Autotools build systems. The platform provides an abstraction of the build system to be used in different analysis techniques.