M4 is an actively used programming language created in 1977. m4 is a general-purpose macro processor included in all UNIX-like operating systems, and is a component of the POSIX standard. The language was designed by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie for the original versions of UNIX. It is an extension of an earlier macro processor m3, written by Ritchie for the AP-3 minicomputer. Read more on Wikipedia...
- M4 ranks in the top 5% of languages
- the M4 wikipedia page
- M4 first appeared in 1977
- file extensions for M4 include m4
- tryitonline has an online M4 repl
- See also: assembly-language, ratfor, unix, fortran, html, freebsd
- Have a question about M4 not answered here? Email me and let me know how I can help.
Example code from the Hello World Collection:
# Hello World for the m4 macro processor Hello
Example code from Linguist:
dnl Took from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_(computer_language) divert(-1) M4 has multiple output queues that can be manipulated with the `divert' macro. Valid queues range from 0 to 10, inclusive, with the default queue being 0. Calling the `divert' macro with an invalid queue causes text to be discarded until another call. Note that even while output is being discarded, quotes around `divert' and other macros are needed to prevent expansion. # Macros aren't expanded within comments, meaning that keywords such # as divert and other built-ins may be used without consequence. # HTML utility macro: define(`H2_COUNT', 0) # The H2_COUNT macro is redefined every time the H2 macro is used: define(`H2', `define(`H2_COUNT', incr(H2_COUNT))<h2>H2_COUNT. $1</h2>') divert(1)dnl dnl dnl The dnl macro causes m4 to discard the rest of the line, thus dnl preventing unwanted blank lines from appearing in the output. dnl H2(First Section) H2(Second Section) H2(Conclusion) dnl divert(0)dnl dnl <HTML> undivert(1)dnl One of the queues is being pushed to output. </HTML>
Example code from Wikipedia:
<HTML> <h2>1. First Section</h2> <h2>2. Second Section</h2> <h2>3. Conclusion</h2> </HTML>
Last updated June 22nd, 2020