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Dependency tracking

From: Akim Demaille
Subject: Dependency tracking
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2018 05:56:07 +0100

Hi all!

Bison's backends are implemented in (GNU) M4.  Bison is shipped
with default M4 files (called skeletons), which m4_include several
bits.  Users may also write their own skeletons.

I regularly have the dependencies wrong in Bison's Makefile, and
some tests are not re-run when they should.  Fine tuning the
dependencies is tedious and error-prone, so in general I use a
superset of the dependencies, and some tests are run more than
needed.  Not a big deal, but since M4 knows what files are actually
used (bison itself does not know what M4 files are used, it knows
only about the top-level M4 file, but then m4 does what it wants),
it would make sense for it to tell us.

I made a quick search on this, and found that such a feature was
already designed (I found this:
and actually contributed

Is there a reason for this work not to be part of M4?  I cannot
see any further reference after 2011-02 (but maybe I failed to
look for the right words, namazu does not seem very reliable).
I can see older messages, including interactions with Eric, but
nothing more recent.


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