Thanks, Make!

by chromatic

I have a love/hate relationship with GNU Make. Yes, it's picky about syntax and it's difficult to write cross-platform Makefiles (though that's not really GNU Make's fault), but a make utility of some sort is mostly ubiquitous across the free Unix-like platforms.

When I need to compile a project written in C or C++ (or when I want to automate certain system administration tasks, such as remembering to update my Postfix files when I update them), I use GNU Make. It does a difficult job without much thanks or thought. I suspect that its maintainers, like me, would like to see a cleaner and friendlier replacement sometime in the future, but for now, its ubiquity and its power are definite advantages.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to make and GNU Make!


3 Comments

Josh Peters
2007-03-12 21:19:23
And let's not forget that if GNU make weren't so difficult to understand we'd never have the other great build tools (Ant, Jam, etc).


That being said, I assume any C(++) project has its own ./configure && make all && make install ready for me to use.


Which brings up a question for you: what do you think of autoconf?


Another question I would love to hear an answer to is this one: make deinstall or make uninstall or something entirely different?

Edd
2007-03-13 02:32:41
I've found make incredibly tedious for building C and C++ projects. So much so that I created my own build system (others didn't /quite/ do what I wanted either).


If you're interested, have a look at 'slam' at http://www.mr-edd.co.uk

chromatic
2007-03-15 17:02:33
@Josh, it's probably a lot terser example than you want, but I don't use autoconf these days. I also know how it works. Read into that whatever connection you think best. Fortunately, pkg-config handles most of my needs instead at the moment.