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LinuxLookup.com: What Are You Gonna Do? 'Make' Me?

Feb 08, 2001, 07:52 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ray)

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"Make has always been described to me as if one were baking a cake. You have a prescribed list of ingredients, each one with its own place in the recipe. The directions are followed and out pops a cake. Make is great for cake. But it really shines when you're baking things like a motorcycle. Let me explain. Your basic cake has a handful of ingredients, at best, but a motorcycle contains hundreds, if not, thousands of parts. Make can execute compiler/linker commands, shell commands, other makefiles, and even has some nifty scripting features of its own. All of this makes it easy to use make to build large programming projects, not just cakes."

"Makefiles are made up of a series of structures that define targets, dependencies, and the commands that build said targets. The most basic ingredient for a makefile is structured like:

                                  target: dependency1 dependency2 ... dependencyN
                                       command(s)

Depending on the version of make that you are using, each line containing commands may have to be preceded by a tab. I always use a tab to avoid any possible gang confrontations. Let's take a look at what our makefile might look like if we were compiling a really nasty cake."

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