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Re: Plan for single Makefile

From: Dean Povey
Subject: Re: Plan for single Makefile
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 13:20:53 +1000

>Hi, Tom!
>> I've spent some time thinking about how we can change Automake to
>> support a single large Makefile, but still keep a in each
>> directory for maintainability.
>I would argue that some people may prefer many Makefiles so that "make"
>can be run in every directory, but a single, just like single
> exactly for the same reason, for maintainability.

I like a single Makefile in the topdir that does the work with a number of
dummy Makefiles in the subdirs with something like:

<Minimal set of substitutions (srcdir, MAKE, etc)>

<list of targets>:
  $(MAKE) -f $(top_srcdir)/Makefile %subdir%_$@ #Or some variant

It is really important for developers in large projects who don't want 
to have to build large sections of their Makefile, to be able to cd 
subdir; make.  The above should work nicely.

I'd also like some thoughts given to how this hurts dependencies. If I have
a single top-level Makefile, do I need to rebuild in every subdir when it
changes. I'm not sure that there is a 100% easy fix for this, but I am sure
there are smarter people on this list than me who can come up with a way.

>Anyway, I would like to see Automake 1.5 (or should it be 1.6 to be
>similar to linux/gimp/gtk versioning?) released first.  Releasing
>1.4-based "ultra-stable" versions is not sufficient.  Automake has a lot
>of useful features that should become available to the users who don't
>want to use beta versions.

Definitely.  I would like to be able to use a stable version of Automake 
with a stable version of Autoconf :-).  My experience of the 
"ultra-stable" versions has been that they tend to be less stable than the 
latest beta.

Dean Povey,              |em: address@hidden|  JCSI: Java security toolkit
Senior S/W Developer     |ph:  +61 7 3864 5120    | uPKI: Embedded/C PKI toolkit
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