Buildtool was a project intended to develop a portable build infrastructure to replace the GNU Autotools.

Buildtool was based on the idea that you would install the tool first and it would provide system-wide services to configure, build, and install individual software packages in a uniform way.

In its final version, here is what its usage message looked like:

buildtool version 0.16
usage: buildtool [options] target [target_options]

Copyright (c) 2002, 2003, 2004 Julio M. Merino Vidal.
This program is licensed under the terms of the BSD license.

Available options:
    {-h,--help}       Show detailed usage (this text).
    {-v,--version}    Show version number.
    {-w,--warnings}   Enable bt_sh warning messages.

Available targets:
    build       Build the package.
    clean       Soft clean the package (keeps configuration data).
    cleandir    Hard clean the package.
    config      Automatically configure a package.
    dist        Generate a distribution file.
    deinstall   Deinstalls the package.
    doc         Read build-time package documentation.
    install     Installs the package.
    lint        Validate the package according to standards.
    pkgflags    Show compilation flags for an installed package.
    siteinfo    Get site specific configuration details.
    swcgen      Aid with creation of system-wide configuration files.
    test        Run tests specific to the package after a successful build.
    wizard      Use an interactive wizard to create initial project files.

See buildtool(1) for more information.

Buildtool was written in shell and lacked many features to properly compete with the GNU Autotools, which were its two major problems.

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