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Building of sub-projects with GNU make

From: Peter Simons
Subject: Building of sub-projects with GNU make
Date: 13 Jun 2002 13:50:22 +0200


I am in the midst of assembling the components of a pretty large
projects and once more ran into a rather annoying limitation of the
make utility as we know it. The problem is that several libraries used
in the project have their own Makefile, but there's no way for me to
pull the information contained in that file into the top-level
Makefile. I can't simply refer to foo/libfoo.a and rely on make to
figure out how to build that target, even though all the information
on how to build that target is perfectly available in foo/Makefile.

While browsing through the web I discovered the makepp tool, which is
available from <>, and I love the way
makepp loads Makefiles from other directories automatically. I am also
very fond of the repository mechanism provided by makepp in order to
perform variant builds for different architectures, etc.

Now I wonder: Certainly I am not the only person who's ever had that
problem, so is there any chance that a functionality this could be
added to GNU make? All I'd need is that GNU make (a) automatically
loads foo/bar/Makefile whenever an unknown target in foo/bar is
accessed and (b) that GNU make is able to modify the paths of the
targets apropriately. I think that the way makepp solved this problem
is just perfect and would love to have this functionality in GNU make!

Is there any chance to inspire someone who knows make's internals
better than I do to make that change?


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