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non-phony rules without commands

From: Boris Kolpackov
Subject: non-phony rules without commands
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 17:48:21 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

Good day,

Consider the following makefile:

foo : bar.o

bar.o : bar.cpp
        g++ -c -o $@ $<

Here I don't have a command for 'foo'. 'foo' is not declared
phony. However make 'imagines' that this target is somehow
gets updated. Obviously there is no way 'foo' can be created
(side-effects aside for a moment) so effectively 'foo' becomes 
an implicit phony target. My question is when this logic can be 


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