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Re: bsd building

From: Jason Stover
Subject: Re: bsd building
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2005 23:26:19 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/

> Not understanding Automatic variables is a severe limitation for a makefile.
> Perhaps we could work around it for now, but I'm sure it'd come back and bite
> us in the future.  (for example if we built using a virtual transparent 
> filesystem).

I checked in a fix for this because BSD make complained that the
automatic variable $< should be used only in an implied rule. The GNU
make manual said this too, though it did not specifcally say
using $< with a non-implied rule would break GNU make, in contrast to
BSD make. So I replaced $< with the names of the respective
dependencies. I am not that familiar with make, so please let me know
if I broke anything. All targets on both GNU/Linux and OpenBSD compiled
before I checked in the fix. (And I apologize for the mispelling of
'implied' in the log.)

I believe the BSD make will understand $< if the rule that uses it
is an implied rule.

> From the GNU Maintainers Document ( 
> ):
>       Supporting other platforms is optional --- we do it when that seems 
>       like a good idea, but we don't consider it obligatory. If the users 
>       don't take care of a certain platform, you may have to desupport it 
>       unless and until users come forward to help. Conversely, if a user 
>       offers changes to support an additional platform, you will probably 
>       want to install them, but you don't have to. If you feel the changes 
>       are complex and ugly, if you think that they will increase the burden 
>       of future maintenance, you can and should reject them.
> So I guess it's a decision for Jason, since he's the only active person on 
> this list who has access to BSD.  --- Jason, are you willing to take 
> responsibility for future BSD maintenance?

This particular problem had an easy fix (assuming I didn't commit any 
sins I'm unaware of), so I didn't mind doing it. I don't mind fixing
little problems in the makefiles, but I don't know enough to fix big

> PS.   Some years ago I wrote a autoconf macro to test if a implementation of 
>       MAKE was GNU or something else.  The autoconf maintainer declined to 
>       include it on the grounds of limited usefulness, but I think it's 
>       packaged somewhere in a compendium of 3rd party macros.  Try googling
>       if you think it'll be useful.

I will keep this in mind if I encounter any more difficulties with make.


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