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MAKE_RESTARTS design question

From: Frink, Alexander
Subject: MAKE_RESTARTS design question
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 17:33:41 +0200
User-agent: Internet Messaging Program (IMP) 3.2.3


I would like to use $(MAKE_RESTARTS) to detect infinite restart loops with
automatically generated dependency files (the dependencies are quite complex,
not simply C/C++, and the Makefile is still under development, so this happens
from time to time).

On the other hand, the default make on the system is still 3.80, which does not
yet support $(MAKE_RESTARTS), so I have to check the version. Currently I use

ifneq (3.81,$(firstword $(sort $(MAKE_VERSION) 3.81)))
  $(error "requires make-3.81 or higher")

because .FEATURES does not tell me if MAKE_RESTARTS is available.

My question now is:
Why is MAKE_RESTARTS designed as is, i.e. empty before the first restart, then
1, 2, ...?
Wouldn't it be better to set it to 0 for the first iteration?
Then it would not be necessary to resort on the literal check on the version
number to test if it is available at all.


Alexander Frink

Debeka Hauptverwaltung
Abteilung IS/Q
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56058 Koblenz

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