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GNU Documentation

GNU manuals are intended to explain the underlying concepts, describe how to use all the features of each program, and give examples of command use. GNU documentation is distributed as Texinfo source files, which yield both typeset hardcopy and on-line hypertext-like display via the menu-driven Info system. These manuals, source for which is provided with our software, are also available in hardcopy; see the "Free Software Foundation Order Form."

Several GNU manuals are now bound as soft cover books with a new lay-flat binding technology. This allows you to open them so they lie flat on a table without creasing the binding. Each book has an inner cloth spine and an outer cardboard cover that will not break or crease as an ordinary paperback will. Currently, the Emacs, Emacs Lisp Reference, Texinfo, GAWK, Make, GDB, Bison, and Flex manuals have this binding. All other GNU manuals are also bound so they lie flat when opened, using other technologies.

The Emacs Manual describes editing with GNU Emacs. The new 8th edition has been updated for Emacs 19. It also explains advanced features, such as outline mode and regular expression search, how to use special modes for programming in languages like C++ and TeX, how to use the tags utility, how to compile and correct code, and how to make your own keybindings and other elementary customizations.

The GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual covers this programming language in great depth, including data types, control structures, functions, macros, syntax tables, searching and matching, modes, windows, keymaps, markers, byte compilation, and the operating system interface.

The Texinfo Manual explains the markup language used to generate both the online Info documentation and typeset hardcopies. It tells you how to make tables, lists, chapters, nodes, indexes, cross references, how to use Texinfo mode in GNU Emacs, and how to catch mistakes.

The GAWK Manual describes how to use the GNU implementation of awk. It is written for someone who has never used awk and describes all the features of this powerful string and record manipulation language.

The Make Manual describes GNU make, a program used to rebuild parts of other programs. The manual tells how to write makefiles, which specify how a program is to be compiled and how its files depend on each other. The new edition of the manual describes the new features in make version 3.64, and includes a new introductory chapter for novice users, as well as a new section on automatically generated dependencies.

Debugging with GDB explains how to use the GNU Debugger, run your program under debugger control, examine and alter data, modify the flow of control within the program, and use GDB through GNU Emacs.

The Bison Manual teaches you how to write context-free grammars for the Bison program that convert into C-coded parsers. You need no prior knowledge of parser generators.

The Flex Manual tells you how to write a lexical scanner definition for the flex program to create a C-coded scanner that will recognize the patterns described. You need no prior knowledge of scanner generators.

Using and Porting GNU CC explains how to run, install, and port the GNU C compiler. Currently, we are distributing two versions of GCC, version 1 and version 2, each documented by a different edition of the manual.

The Termcap Manual, often described as "Twice as much as you ever wanted to know about Termcap," details the format of the Termcap database, the definitions of terminal capabilities, and the process of interrogating a terminal description. This manual is primarily for programmers.

The Emacs Calc Manual includes both a tutorial and a reference manual for Calc. It describes how to do ordinary arithmetic, how to use Calc for algebra, calculus, and other forms of mathematics, and how to extend Calc.

The C Library Reference Manual describes almost all of the facilities of the GNU C library, including both what Unix calls "library functions" and "system calls." We are doing limited print runs of this manual until it becomes more stable. It is new, and we would like corrections and improvements. Please send them to bug-glibc-manual@prep.ai.mit.edu.

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