If you have ever downloaded "open-source" software as source code from GNU or elsewhere, you have witnessed the following magic:
./configure make make check make install
after which the software just works, even for very complex packages, no matter which of a very large range of systems you happen to be running.
Yes, it even does Windows. I will describe a powerful set of tools that will help you to achieve this level of simplicity (for the user) and portability for your applications. The cost is surprisingly low in time and effort, and zero for the tools.
Bob Goddard has been an active member of NW C++ UG for many years. You will recognize his face. He has worked at the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory since 1980. He is the primary author of the Sonar Simulation Toolset (SST) software, a large C++ system for simulation of sound in the sea. SST is being used at several Navy and university laboratories to generate artificial underwater sound, which is used to develop new sonar systems, train sonar operators, and predict performance of new and existing sonar systems and tactics. He has also worked on other projects related to underwater acoustics, including simulation, analysis, and data acquisition applications. His niche is in the gray overlap area between software engineering and "real" science.
For more details, go to http://staff.washington.edu/rpg3/, http://www.apl.washington.edu/, and http://eis.apl.washington.edu/projects/projects.php.
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