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[bug #58734] gmake does not check for the existence of a file before com

From: Jörg Schilling
Subject: [bug #58734] gmake does not check for the existence of a file before complaining it is missing
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2020 10:18:36 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:77.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/77.0

Follow-up Comment #4, bug #58734 (project make):

This is one of the gmake bugs that does not seem to exist with trivial
makefiles. This is why I am apparently unable to give a small example to
repeat that problem. If you really need a makefile to repeat the problem, I
can give you a modified makefile that would cause the problem in a larger
project that yu would need to fetch for the test (this is the schilytools

What I can say to help fixing the problem is that truss(1) shows that gmake
calls stat(2) as a block on a larger list of files at startup and at that time
correctly finds that the file in question does not exist.

Then it executes some rules that have the side effect to create the file in
question (a symlink to a source file).

Gmake however never again calls stat(2) on that file but incorrectly claims
that the file does not exist, eventhough it exists at the time it is really

Please note that the fact that there is no explicit rule for that  file, is
caused by a workaround for another gmake bug that would cause a specific
command to be called 4x concurrently, resulting in overwritten results.

BTW: I write portable software, so I cannot use a non portable feature (e.g.
your &: proposal) within a leaf makefile.


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