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what is this shell call trying to solve?

From: Phil Edwards
Subject: what is this shell call trying to solve?
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 06:00:37 -0500

Been playing with 1.5 and have been pretty pleased with the support for
source files in subdirectories.  I have noticed however something which
strikes me as odd:

   % make
   make  all-am
   make[1]: Entering directory `/tmp/pme/foo'
   source='/home/pme/easysems/' object='main.o' libtool=no \
   depfile='.deps/main.Po' tmpdepfile='.deps/main.TPo' \
   depmode=gcc3 /bin/sh /home/pme/easysems/depcomp \
*  g++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I/home/pme/easysems -I. -g -O2 -c -o
*    main.o `test -f /home/pme/easysems/ ||
*    echo '/home/pme/easysems/'`/home/pme/easysems/
   g++  -g -O2   -o semmanip  getopt.o getopt1.o semmanip_opts.o main.o
   make[1]: Leaving directory `/tmp/pme/foo'

The call to the compiler, broken across three lines here and marked with
'*', uses a shell expansion which doesn't make any sense.  Something is
visibly wrong here, but I don't know what.  Everything works, but it
looks like it's trying to test for a failure condition and... I dunno,
do something strang in that condition.


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