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RFC: Extensions to GNU Make

From: Eray Ozkural
Subject: RFC: Extensions to GNU Make
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 23:57:50 +0200

Hi all!

I'm trying to write a small suite of makefiles for GNU make
with the intention of providing automake-level functionality, with more

While doing that, I came across a few limitations in GNU Make. For
example, I can't write conditional expressions within user defined

While GNU make is not designed to be a general purpose language, some
extensions would be useful.

Previously I'd proposed an $(eval arg1) function that would evaluate
any given string (with newlines possibly). I also proposed extending
foreach with a third _optional_ argument for output separators.
(I will detail this proposal in an upcoming mail)
Now I think I'm going to propose a $(cond arg1, arg2, arg3) function
  arg1 = the boolean condition, means true if t, otherwise false
  arg2 = if true
  arg3 = if false
The idea is to have LISP like conditional expressions.

I predict that other functions that resemble to LISP counterparts
would be pretty useful.

Now, I'd like to request for comments regarding these extensions and
possibly others. Which extensions (while not creating too much bloat)
would be valuable while writing makefiles?


Eray (exa) Ozkural
Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
e-mail: address@hidden
www: http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~erayo

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