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Re: make --guaranteed-real-dry-run

From: Philip Guenther
Subject: Re: make --guaranteed-real-dry-run
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2009 12:45:42 -0800

On Thu, Jan 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM,  <address@hidden> wrote:
> What really bugs me is we do "man make", and see
>       -n, --just-print, --dry-run, --recon
>            Print the commands that would be executed, but do not execute them.
> But that is just plain not always true, and one has to read the fine
> print in other documents to find the whole story.

So make a serious suggestion for the additional words that would have
clarified it for you.  Please don't try to use a footnote, as they
work poorly when a manpage is viewed on-line.  (Footnotes in
info-pages are only bearable because the viewer forcibly presents

> What I'm saying is that things like that at least need a asterisk and
> a footnote, else, well, how can you say with a clear conscience "we
> warned you"?

The GNU make manpage starts with this:

       This  man  page  is an extract of the documentation of GNU
       make.  It is updated only occasionally,  because  the  GNU
       project  does  not use nroff.  For complete, current docu-
       mentation, refer to the Info file make.info which is  made
       from the Texinfo source file make.texi.

Since you continued to read past that, you apparently were unconcerned
that you were reading incomplete, possibly out-of-date documentation.

If you don't see that in your version, then you're either using an
out-of-date version of GNU make, or your system packager has rewritten
the manpage, placing it out of control of the GNU make developers.

> Yes down on the bottom is says for the full story see the info pages,
> but that's not how warning labels are done.

1) it's at the top, not the bottom, of the official manpage.
2) if that's not enough, then I suggest you remove the make manpage
from your system,
   as that's the only sure way to not have incomplete data on it.

Philip Guenther

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