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[bug #51527] Make race issue when MikTeX htlatex is used

From: Vincent Belaïche
Subject: [bug #51527] Make race issue when MikTeX htlatex is used
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:06:30 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/50.0

Follow-up Comment #1, bug #51527 (project make):

== Fact 5 ==

Look at the following:

# this fails
make realclean && make fmtord.log

# /foo/bar is dummy, this path does not exists
# this will be successful
export PATH=/foo/bar:$PATH
# this will be successful
make realclean && make fmtord.log

# this will fail again
export PATH=$save_path
make realclean && make fmtord.log

Even changing the environment in a very slight way is sufficient for the make
not to fall into the pitfall.

= Fact analysis and guessing the source of the problem =

My guess is the following : htlatex.exe produces test-fmtord-l.html by running
latex 2 or 3 times in sequence in subprocesses. Make detects that
test-fmtord-l.html is ready after firs 1st or 2nd suprocess is over and
launches the date-timestamp awk scripts *before* htlatex is actually over.
This creates an interlock between the latex and the awk programs trying to
write-access the same file at the same time, and causes the problem.

I don't know how this happens, and I don't know either whether GNU Make or
MiKTeX htlatex port is to blame.


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