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Re: Making makefiles with primarily phony targets more friendly

From: Alejandro Colomar
Subject: Re: Making makefiles with primarily phony targets more friendly
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2022 22:38:13 +0200
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On 8/10/22 22:19, Jean-Baptiste Poittevin wrote:
By using a lot of PHONY targets, I think you're closing a door to one make greatest feature : not redoing those things that are already up to date.

If you consider that every rule can generate a useful file (file containing container image for example) or a dummy file, you can benefit from the date comparison between it and its pre-requisites and diminish greatly the need for PHONY targets. In my opinion, PHONY targets should just be used for comfort of the user launching make, and those targets have simply a dependency to a real file.

Agree. The Linux man-pages project has a lot of Makefile code for linting, and we use dummy files to benefit from make(1)'s date comparison. You might want to have a look at the code:




Le 10 août 2022 21:08:55 GMT+02:00, Katherine Pata <me@kitty.sh> a écrit :

    I often find myself using makefiles to handle things like project
    linting, container images, various scripts, initiating tests, and
    other misc tasks. Sometimes these include tasks that have real
    dependencies that make should keep track of, but often the vast
    majority of targets are phony.

    Something like --reverse-phony or a variable like .GENUINE or .REAL
    that is mutually exclusive with .PHONY would be really helpful.

    Would there be interest in developing this for GNU Make? If someone
    creates a patch, would this be accepted?

    Has this been discussed before?

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