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[bug #62936] Confusing description of chained rules in the manual

From: Paul D. Smith
Subject: [bug #62936] Confusing description of chained rules in the manual
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2022 18:57:35 -0400 (EDT)

Follow-up Comment #1, bug #62936 (project make):

I don't know why you say "you cannot update a non-existing file": make does
this all the time!  When you start make in a clean directory there are no
object files, for example, and so those files are non-existing but yet of
course make will still update them.

By "update" the make manual means "run the recipe for that target".  It
doesn't mean "modify an existing file or fail if the file doesn't already
exist".  This term is used everywhere in the manual, to mean that same thing.

I guess I don't understand the issue well enough to suggest a better
formulation either.  Maybe if you can say what "case" you mean when you say
"how Make deals with this case" then it would become more clear where we might
enhance the document to be less confusing.

As for "leave well enough alone" that's a very common idiom; for example:


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