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Re: Target specified by an empty variable

From: Glenn Morris
Subject: Re: Target specified by an empty variable
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 23:13:39 -0400
User-agent: Gnus (, GNU Emacs (

Oleksandr Gavenko wrote:

> So if strlen > 0 - it OK, otherwise GNU Make developer nothing
> guarantee.
> If you run make with empty string target you get error:
>  $ LANG=C make ""
> make: *** empty string invalid as file name.  Stop.

Thanks for the answer. Just to be clear, I don't want to actually do
the equivalent of

make ""

I want the empty targets to be completely ignored. They are only
referenced as the dependencies of other targets. When the associated
variables are empty, they will not get run as dependencies.

My question really was, will having an "empty" target like this give a
syntax error with some makes, even if nothing tries to run the
associated rule?

It seems to work OK with GNU make and /usr/xpg4/bin/make on SunOS 5.10.

> It likely empty string target incorrect and you
> must rewrote build scripts to avoid empty string in target.

More work. :(

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