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Putting intermediate files in the distribution?

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Putting intermediate files in the distribution?
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2003 02:06:19 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

I am autoconfiscating a moderately large legacy project.  A previously
existing methodology in the project is to create a large number of .c
and .h files by generating them with a script from a template.  I have
created custom rules to do this and all builds fine.  I originally put
the generated files into CLEANFILES since they are generated files.

But upon a clean build I notice that it takes longer to run the
scripts to build those .c and .h files than it takes to compile the
entire rest of the project!  Yes the scripts are slow and I can
probably speed them up.  But for now I just want to work around the
problem and put that task off until later.  The files are architecture
independent and produce identical files on any platform.  Therefore I
would like to include those into the distribution in order to save the
rebuild time every time I recompile from scratch.

I have been thinking I should put the generated .c and .h files into
both EXTRA_DIST and MAINTAINERCLEANFILES.  Then I could force a
rebuild of those with maintainer-clean when I really want to force
rebuild them.  They would get normal dependency management and be
rebuilt when needed based upon their dependencies changing.  But they
would avoid being rebuilt gratuitously.  I have tested this and it
seems to do what I want but seems questionable to me.  I was looking
for direction.  Does this scheme sound right?

For comparison how are lex and yacc intermediate .c and .h files
handled?  I think my problem is similar should be handled similarly.

I will include an example structure at the end of this message.  It is
functional and representative of the problem.  And perhaps someone
will see obvious improvements to which I am blind.


Here is an example:

EXTRA_DIST = file1.d file1.h file1.c ../../include/file1.h ../../src/file1.c
MAINTAINERCLEANFILES = file1.h file1.c ../../include/file1.h ../../src/file1.c


file1.c: file1.d
         a_script file1.d

file1.h: file1.d
         a_script file1.d

../../src/file1.c: file1.c
        cp file1.c ../../src/

../../include/file1.h: file1.h
        cp file1.h ../../include/

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