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Summary

In this chapter, you did something the vast majority of Macintosh users have never done: compile and install your own software. We hope that you found this experience completely anticlimactic. Mac OS X is still rough enough around the edges that if you try to install every program out there, you will run across some that raise your blood pressure. But on Unix flavors that have existed for a longer time, almost every piece of source can be compiled with the same standard installation procedure: ./configure, make, make test, and make install. We expect that Mac OS X will mature rapidly to the point that all installs are as simple as the straightforward installations that we've gone through here.

For those installs that aren't so simple, you've had a tour of several installation, compilation, troubleshooting, and debugging issues. We have found that a large percentage of Unix users, after they have developed the necessary mindset regarding software installation, can productively fight through troublesome installs such as these by successively attacking small parts of the problem as shown here. The keys to remember are that the messages and errors reported by the compilers and debuggers do have meaning, and that the worst that can happen by attempting to logically determine the cause of an error is that it doesn't get any better. Surprisingly often, a problem in a programming language can be fixed by working with error messages and making logical guesses, even if you don't know the language in the slightest.


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