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[bug #35132] Side effects of .SECONDARY with no targets not documented

From: Paul D. Smith
Subject: [bug #35132] Side effects of .SECONDARY with no targets not documented
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 00:08:37 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/21.0.1180.89 Safari/537.1

Update of bug #35132 (project make):

                  Status:                    None => Works for me           
             Open/Closed:                    Open => Closed                 
           Triage Status:                    None => Need Info              


Follow-up Comment #1:

Unfortunately I can't understand the issues you're having well enough to
decide whether there's a problem here, either in the implementation or in the
code.  I don't know what "unpredictable behavior" you mean.  Reading the
referenced message doesn't enlighten me.

One thing that makes me wary is that you're using symbolic links as targets. 
It's important to understand that by default make doesn't know anything about
symbolic links: it treats them just like any other file.  That is, when make
examines the time-last-modified of the target it will see the time last
modified of the file the link points to, NOT the link itself.  So if you're
relying on the timestamp when the link was created to be considered by make as
distinct from the timestamp when the pointed-to file was modified, that just
won't work.  This doesn't have anything to do with .SECONDARY or .PRECIOUS,
etc. it's just how the POSIX filesystem works.

In newer versions of GNU make you can force make to consider the timestamp of
symlinks separately by using the --check-symlink-times command line argument;
see the documentation.

At this point I don't have enough detail to move forward with this bug so I'm
closing it.  If you have more information feel free to add another comment;
I'll get email and I can re-open the bug.


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