A bunch of old papers on macros for portable software, starting with Strachey's "A general purpose macroprocessor": ml1.org.uk/papers.html
(Considering that my experience with m4 was unfun, this may be a dead end, but it's at least historically interesting.)

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Incidentally, the book *Writing interactive compilers and interpreters* by the same guy (Peter J Brown) was rather good, though super dated: about making things like a BASIC for a 70s microcomputer, exploring the design space.

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