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A macro processor for Unix and GCOS which is more flexible than cpp. m4 copies its input to the output, expanding macros which can be either built-in or user-defined. m4 has built-in functions for including files, running Unix commands, doing integer arithmetic, manipulating text in various ways and recursing. m4 can be used either as a front-end to a compiler or as a stand-alone tool.

sendmail's configuration file (/etc/sendmail.cf) is writen in m4 macros.

There is a GNU m4 v1.1 by Francois Pinard <pinard@iro.umontreal.ca> and a public domain version by Ozan Yigit <oz@sis.yorku.ca> and Richard A. O'Keefe <ok@goanna.cs.rmit.OZ.AU> (FTP from any 386BSD, NetBSD or FreeBSD archive). A Macintosh version is here.

See also m3, m5.

["The M4 Macro Processor", Kernighan & Ritchie, Jul 1977].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in periodicals archive ?
A National Highway Authority official told this correspondent that dual carriageway of M-4's Abdul Hakeem-Khanewal had already been completed and the remaining work on its interchanges and toll plazas was in progress which will also be completed soon.
Syed Zia Alumdar also demanded that link roads connecting M-3 and M-4 with Lahore-Karachi motorway should also be undertaken on priority basis.
He said that collective saving of Rs1,300 million was ensured during the completing of Gojra-Shorkot section of M-4 motorway.
The M-4 is considered to be the backbone for the development of the northern and southern districts of the country,he remarked.
An official of the NHA told reporter on Wednesday that with its completion, out of five, four sections of the M-4 would become operational, leaving behind only Shorkot-Khanewal section likely to become operational in August or September this year.
The Gojra-Shorkot section of M-4 is likely to be completed in October this year .
On completion,the 293-km M-4 project will cut down travel time between Pindi Bhattian and Multan to about two and a half hours.
ISLAMABAD -- Sixty-two kilometre under-construction Gojra-Shorkot section of Pindi Bhattian-Multan Motorway (M-4) is nearing completion and National Highway Authority is likely to open it for traffic by October this year.
FAISALABAD -- Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has welcomed the inauguration of Gojra-Shorkot section construction of M-4 (Faisalabad-Multan) Motorway.
Arbab Alamgir Khan has directed to accelerate the land acquisition process to ensure timely completion of Faisalabad-Multan Motorway (M-4) and any delay in this regard will not be tolerated.
Motorway (M-4) is going on smoothly and as per schedule,the project would be completed in March next year.