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Re: How to simplify this makefile?

From: Bob Stark
Subject: Re: How to simplify this makefile?
Date: 6 May 2004 05:46:31 -0700

Thanks for your replies. I did read that gnu make manual, but
obviously didn't grasp all of the details.

I've now started reading, and it seems that I
should recursively invoke make with my output directory (Materials) as
the current directory, rather than using source as the current

This really does get quite complex. My dependency rules (in the
abstract sense) are currently quite simple; Each chapter starts with a
two digit number, and there is an intermediate pdf file for each one,
so 00cover.ppt -> 00cover.pdf, 01overview.ppt -> 01overview.pdf, and
then everything *.PDF rolls up to a fixed file.  It was pretty simple
before I desided to build an alternate target (colorbook), and
realized that my intermediate pdf files had to go into a different
directory, but I really do want the alternate target, so I'll plow

Part of my plan is to automate this process so that others less
technical than I can execute and even maintain this build process.
Toward that end, I want to keep things as simple as possible. So far,
I ask them to put three executables (printppt.exe, mergepdf.exe, and
make.exe) in their path, then issue some commands. Perhaps I'll need
to bring in win32 versions of sed and awk in order to go the whole way
here with make files which update themselves, automake, etc.

> Umm, I'm somehow getting the feeling that Bob didn't read:
> I strongly suggest it if you are going to get into the practice of
> writing makefiles.
> If that documentation isn't sufficient, I've found Paul's personal
> site to have a wealth of information on good practices of writing
> makefiles caveats, and have found it particularly usefull in figuring
> out how VPATH works (or doesn't):
> Cheers,
>                                        -Tristan

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