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Re: easier nonrecursive makefiles

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: easier nonrecursive makefiles
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 15:07:47 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Mon, 2 Aug 2010, Bernd Jendrissek wrote:

What about taking a cue from nobase_FOOS and having

prefixed_nobase1_dist_SOURCES =
 perl/Foo/ \

I'm deliberately conflating another issue: the all-or-nothing nature
of nobase_FOOS.  In some source trees, it forces you to have a
(hopefully small number of) recursive  The "nobase1"
here would tell automake, "strip 1, but no other, pathname

It seems likely that you are talking about something else. In the typical non-recursive build for a large project, it is necessary to specify the full "path" as part of all target name variables. This becomes incredibly redundant and wasteful. It makes non-recursive builds more challenging than similar recursive builds, when they do not need to be. A common way to make maintenance of a large project easier is to put an Automake include file in each directory where one or more components are built. Unfortunately, because these include files are currently absorbed verbatim, the include files need to know their location in the tree and include huge amounts of wasteful redundancy. It would be quite useful if this makefile include had a way to refer to its own relative location both in raw form, and in the underscore-substituted form necessary to construct target variable names. Automake could arrange to expand these substititions before evaluating any other Automake syntax.

For example, this:

# PCL coder module
bar_coders_pcl_la_SOURCES      = bar/coders/pcl.c
bar_coders_pcl_la_CPPFLAGS     = $(MODULE_EXTRA_CPPFLAGS)
bar_coders_pcl_la_LDFLAGS      = $(MODULECOMMONFLAGS)
bar_coders_pcl_la_LIBADD       = $(LIBMAGICK)

could become this:

# PCL coder module
%tldir%_pcl_la_SOURCES      = %ldir%/pcl.c
%tldir%_pcl_la_CPPFLAGS     = $(MODULE_EXTRA_CPPFLAGS)
%tldir%_pcl_la_LDFLAGS      = $(MODULECOMMONFLAGS)
%tldir%_pcl_la_LIBADD       = $(LIBMAGICK)

and then the entire source code comprising this build unit can easily be moved anywhere without needing to edit its specific Automake include file. Since substitutions are then already done on the target names, there is the additional possibility of supporting natural POSIX path syntax (with forward slashes and dots) rather than the current stunted underscore syntax. Natural paths make everything much easier to maintain. The current stunted syntax only exists because it was easier for a developer back in the early days of Automake development to require 'make' syntax. Improved substitution syntax is left to the Automake designer.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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