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Re: suggestion: new make function

From: David Boyce
Subject: Re: suggestion: new make function
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2011 17:17:25 -0400

I agree with Tim and with Tim's suggested API, in particular
"withfile". Involving the shell in something as basic and inherently
portable as writing to a file opens up a world of portability issues,
in addition to the performance and readability problems mentioned.
Given that some platforms (Windows) have ARG_MAX limits and have
adopted "command files" as the official workaround, a command line
generator (which is fundamentally all make does) should have the
native capability to create those kinds of command lines. IMHO.

In general there seems to be a curious resistance to adding functions,
implying fear of a slippery slope such that the next thing you know
make will have hundreds of functions. I don't see that happening - it
seems to me the list of potential new functions adding basic, core
make functionality is pretty limited. Right now there are viable
proposals for two path-cleanup functions plus this one. There may be a
few others but I suspect the number of proposals that will ever pass
the core functionality test is less than 10, maybe a lot less, so I
think a strong case can be made to just let them in and keep make a
simple, standalone, single-file program which doesn't require inline
Lisp and complex dynamic loader semantics and so on. Or perhaps I'm
wrong and make would add a couple of new functions per release,
forever. How bad would that be?

David Boyce

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