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[rfc] Colorized output for GNU make?

From: Sebastian Pipping
Subject: [rfc] Colorized output for GNU make?
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 14:58:48 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:6.0) Gecko/20110901 Thunderbird/6.0


First, here's a picture of what this is about: [1].

Wrappers like colormake [2] have a number of problems: they cannot
distinguish certain lines of output (like commands being executed and
output produced by these very commands), they take more resources than
needed just to name a few.

So I was thinking: maybe you even want that feature upstream (or are at
least willing to accept it) if it's done well?  I volunteer to be the
code monkey for that.

I have a quickhack patch ready at [3] if you like to see it in action.
I'm aware that you wouldn't apply that patch as-is.  I came here to
discuss what it should be transformed into.

Related questions:

 - How should color be enabled/disabled?  Would grep's approach of
   parameter --color[=(never|always|auto)] and variable GREP_COLORS be
   reasonable here?  (Is there a need for --color=auto here?)
   Other ideas?

 - When colorizing "abc\n", should color stop before or after "\n"?

 - The make code seems to support a variety of platforms.
   Which platforms should receive color, which shouldn't?

Looking forward to hear from you!


Sebastian Pipping

[1] http://hartwork.org/public/make-with-color.png
[2] http://bre.klaki.net/programs/colormake/
[3] http://hartwork.org/public/make-3.82-color-v1.patch

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