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Re: Quirk with rules producing multiple output files

From: Paul Smith
Subject: Re: Quirk with rules producing multiple output files
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:47:56 -0400

On Thu, 2013-04-11 at 12:14 +0200, Reinier Post wrote:
> > It's just a shorthand for writing a lot of identical rules; it does NOT
> > mean that a single invocation if the rule will generate all three
> > targets, which is what you are expecting.
> Incidentally: other workflow/inference languages can express this
> distinction perfectly and still allow the resulting specifications to
> be analyzed for proper termination (e.g. safe Petri nets, Datalog);
> I'd love to know of an alternative to make that is based on such a
> language, but it seems too much to ask for make to be extended
> in this way.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "this distinction", but GNU make
already supports multi-target generators with pattern rules, as
mentioned in the part of the email you clipped.  So the basic
infrastructure exists.  There were proof-of-concept patches floating
around to support it for explicit rules as well.

Really the trickiest part is the user interface (makefile syntax): it
must be backward-compatible with existing makefiles, or at least be sure
to break virtually none of them.

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