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I'm not sure why people are recommending make. Apart from the fact that it makes perfect sense for a library written in JS to use a JS toolchain, tools like Rake and npm are far more portable than any of the Autotools toolchain ever was. OSX uses BSD make by default for god's sake, and installing autotools on windows is not nearly as easy as installing node and npm. After that, you've got hundreds (thousands?) of CommonJS libraries that you can leverage where you control the version, versus having files sprinkled with comments like "// curl version <7 didn't support the -p flag, needed for WinXP cygwin v.24" (not actual example, but I've worked on many C/C++ projects where this is the case).

Using make in no way means that you have to use the monstrosity that is Autotools.

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