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m4 is a programming language and macro processor commonly used to extend the functionalities of other programming languages or simplify common tasks. m4 operates by replacing instances of macros within text files with their definitions, similar to a find-and-replace operation but on a more sophisticated level. The tool is often used for pre-processing source code before compilation in C programs or configuring software systems. m4 can handle complexity through nested macro calls and conditional statements within macros themselves.

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