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Re: [PATCH] doc: note that $(wildcard) is implemented in terms of glob(3

From: Martin Dorey
Subject: Re: [PATCH] doc: note that $(wildcard) is implemented in terms of glob(3)
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2021 22:08:28 +0000

It was documented but only in NEWS:

martind@sirius:~/download/make$ sgrep wildcard | grep sort
./NEWS:179:* All wildcard expansion within GNU make, including $(wildcard ...), will sort
./NEWS:426:  results from wildcard expansions, use the $(sort ...)  function to request
./ChangeLog.3:1586: * NEWS: Accidentally forgot to back out the sorted wildcard

That non-sorting of multiple arguments to wildcard, eg *.c *.h, is a nice gotcha, which wasn't in the NEWS item (presumably it didn't change).  Not for me to say but the whole issue does feel worth a few lines to me.  Then there's the wider topic of reproducible builds but perhaps I shouldn't pull on loose ends.

From: Bug-make <bug-make-bounces+martin.dorey=hds.com@gnu.org> on behalf of Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <avarab@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, December 3, 2021 13:10
To: psmith@gnu.org <psmith@gnu.org>
Cc: bug-make@gnu.org <bug-make@gnu.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] doc: note that $(wildcard) is implemented in terms of glob(3)
***** EXTERNAL EMAIL *****

On Fri, Dec 03 2021, Paul Smith wrote:

> On Fri, 2021-12-03 at 11:08 +0100, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason wrote:
>> The motivation for this patch is that I've seen code like this in the
>> wild:
>>     FILES = $(sort $(wildcard t*.sh))
>> I thought that it would be documented that that sort of thing was
>> redundant, but I didn't find any mention of it in the manual. After
>> some source spelunking I came up with this addition, which would have
>> helped me when I consulted the manual.
> Originally it was not _guaranteed_ that wildcard yields sorted output.
> However, the output did happen to be sorted in older versions of GNU
> make.  In GNU make 3.82, that was changed to yield unsorted output.  As
> of GNU make 4.3, it was changed back and it is now guaranteed that
> wildcard results are sorted:
> https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url="">
> I thought that I had updated the documentation to make this guarantee
> clear but perhaps I forgot?

As far as the proposed update goes what I should have noted that
individual arguments to "wildcard" expand to sorted globs, but as noted
in the thread:

    $(wildcard ? ?)

Will return e.g. "1 2 3 1 2 3".

Would a patch that's updated to note that, and discusses the behavior in
older versions be acceptable for inclusion?

Unless there's some place where this is documented that I didn't spot...

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