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From: Howard Chu
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 18:51:28 -0700

stderr is conventionally used for any diagnostic information. "Help"
generally counts as diagnostics. Your problem is that you're working
on an "operating system" that doesn't really understand the concept
of stderr and whose tools never accounted for its use. Since DJGPP
MAKE is a port by people unaffiliated with the original GNU Make
project, this bug report should go to the DJGPP maintainers. Note that
GNU Make's current version 3.xx, not 2.03, (which must be the version
DJGPP assigned to their current port) so you are really talking about
a completely different animal anyway.

  -- Howard Chu
  Chief Architect, Symas Corp.       Director, Highland Sun
  http://www.symas.com               http://highlandsun.com/hyc
  Symas: Premier OpenSource Development and Support 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden Behalf Of
> Tim Jensen
> Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 6:19 PM
> To: 'address@hidden'
> I'm taking a C course and I desire to print the help screen data 
> of the DJGPP MAKE command for reference purposes and have 
> discovered, what is to me a disturbing flaw.  To establish a 
> frame of reference, I'll explain my understanding using C 
> terminology that I've been learning in the C course.  That is to 
> say input and output of a C program, produced by a C compiler 
> (and I don't know if MAKE.EXE is produced by a C compiler), goes 
> through one of these three streams:  stdin, stdout, and stderr.  
> The stderr output stream goes only to the screen and bypasses 
> redirection to files or ports.  I understand that the reason for 
> this is that one does not want error messages polluting program 
> output which may be input to another program.
> Now the problem:  I'm able to display some of the help info. by 
> executing the command:
>       MAKE -?
> but not all.
> Firstly, there is more information, than will fit in a text mode 
> screen or a DOS window.
> Secondly, I've found it impossible to capture this information; 
> therefore, if there is a version information at the top, I cannot 
> report it to you.  Also, I cannot see whatever help data there is 
> that scrolls off the top.
> As I understand things (as a proficient DOS user) output of a DOS 
> compliant programs can be "piped", "redirected", or controlled by 
> using symbols of DOS command syntax or keyboard control codes as follows:
>       MAKE -? | MORE  {to pipe output to MORE which displays one 
> screenful at a time}
>       MAKE -? >PRN            {to redirect output to the local printer}
>       MAKE -? >temp.txt       {to redirect output to a file}
>       <Ctrl>-S                {to pause scrolling action on screen}
> Conclusion: The help screen information is being sent to stderr.  
> The basis for my deduction that output of MAKE -? is going to 
> stderr is simply that DOS controls on the flow of output are 
> totally ineffective.  If output is going to stdout, then these 
> controls should work - they don't.
> Sending command line help information to the stderr, I recognize 
> as a defect or bug, because such information IS NOT ERROR DATA.  
> Also, if the user cannot redirect the output or pause it, then 
> the user can never see anything that scrolls off the top of the 
> screen.  I translate this inability/restriction of MAKE to be a 
> defect or "BUG".
> MAKE is the first program that I've ever encountered that does 
> not permit it's help data to be redirected by DOS.  I make this 
> report to <address@hidden> because, as a user, I have been 
> inconvenienced by this problem and hope to prevent other future 
> users of DJGPP from having a similar experience.
> Thank you for having an interest in addressing bugs and providing 
> a means of reporting them.  I look forward to the new and 
> improved version of MAKE.
> _______________
> Tim Jensen
> P.S. - The readme.1st file tells me that the version, I'm using 
> is 2.03 and by the ftp site I looked at, that is the latest version.
> _______________________________________________
> Bug-make mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://mail.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-make

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