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Flex and ylwrap -- outmoded?

From: Mike Mueller
Subject: Flex and ylwrap -- outmoded?
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 22:07:06 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

I'm working on a project with a couple flex-generated lexers and an
automake/autoconf build system.  I've noticed the following:

Automake runs flex via ylwrap.  ylwrap, according to the manual:

    A shell script used by an automake generated `Makefile' to run
    programs like `bison', `yacc', `flex', and `lex'. These programs
    default to producing output files with a fixed name, and the
    `ylwrap' script runs them in a subdirectory to avoid file name
    conflicts when using a parallel make program.

However, I have a feeling this hasn't been true about flex for a long
time.  Flex has options that are very useful, including one for
specifying an output file name (%option outfile="").

A side-effect of running flex in a ylwrap jail is that I can't generate
a header file using automake's default .l-file handler.  I specified the
option header-file="foo.h", but based on the description above, I'm
assuming the file is generated in a temporary subdirectory, and then
blasted by ylwrap.

I'm going to have to hand-write my rule to build flex files, to be able
to use the most basic features of flex.  Hopefully you guys can pull
flex out of the special category of programs that need ylwrapping, so
that in the future, people will be able to use flex more naturally.


Mike Mueller

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