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[bug #59399] Add a warning about using $* and $< in explicit rules

From: Paul D. Smith
Subject: [bug #59399] Add a warning about using $* and $< in explicit rules
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2020 13:51:44 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/87.0.4280.66 Safari/537.36

Update of bug #59399 (project make):

                  Status:                    None => Wont Fix               
             Open/Closed:                    Open => Closed                 
                 Summary: Expanding implicit macros in gmake (enhancement
request) => Add a warning about using $* and $< in explicit rules


Follow-up Comment #5:

I don't want to add warnings for usage which is valid and well-defined by the
GNU make manual, to the default output of GNU make.  People expect their make
program to do its work without a lot of fuss, and they choose GNU make because
they want to *use* it's enhanced capabilities, not be warned about using

Thinking about this more, I don't think I'd even accept a patch which
introduced an option that users could enable to mention when non-portable
features are used.  The definition of what is a "non-portable makefile" is
pretty loose and changes over time, and will never be comprehensive.  Creating
such a set of checks would be very time-consuming and would complicate the
code, and, IME, is not something most people care much about.

Instead, I suggest that this time would be better spent creating a separate
"makefile linter" tool that could be used by people who were interested in
writing makefiles that adhered to a specific set of portability constraints. 
Since this a tool wouldn't need to actually build things and would only be run
periodically as a check, it would not need to be very efficient; in fact it
would probably be simplest to write the tool in an interpreted language which
is good at text processing such as Perl or Python.

If such a tool were created I'd be happy to review it to suggest or even
contribute checks to point out common GNU make idioms people might be using
that aren't portable.


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