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GNUmake compared with Watcom make

From: Michael Mounteney
Subject: GNUmake compared with Watcom make
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 17:28:28 +1030
User-agent: KMail/1.4.3

I tried some comparisons between Win-32 ports of GNUmake and Watcom's wmake 

The impetus for the comparison was my wish to simplify a multi-platform build 
system which uses GNUmake on Mandrake GNU/Linux for some jobs, and wmake on 
Win-32 (either '98 or 2000) for Windows-target compilations.  Since the 
makefile syntaxes are incompatible (thanks Watcom for fixing a lot of things 
that weren't actually broken), the system requires several included 
(`!include' on wmake) sub-makefiles and I wanted to eliminate these.

I was puzzled to observe that GNUmake is /much/ /much/ slower than GNUmake on 
null builds (timestamp checks on an already up-to-date system).  Here are 
some figures.  The crumby system is due to my recent emigration and the 
majority of my kit being still in customs.

(1) Pentium 120 laptop running Windows 98 with a 10 Mb connection to a SPArc 
Classic running Solaris 9 and Samba 2.2.2.  Build hosted entirely on the 
Wmake:  50.08 seconds ; GNUmake 21 minutes, 58.72 seconds.

(2) Pentium III 650 laptop running Windows 2000 SP3 with the build hosted 
Wmake 4.01 seconds ; GNUmake 16.66 seconds.

Although I didn't time it, a null build on the Pentium III laptop, with a NFS 
3 connection on 100 Mb to the SPArc server, this time running Mandrake Linux 
8.1 with its stock make, runs in a couple of seconds.

So the weak link appears to be gmake *on Win-32*.

Possibly the reason is the crap MS compiler.   I did try to build gmake from 
source using the Watcom compiler, but it choked, so I assume that all build of 
GNUmake on Win-32 have been done with MS C++ or VC++.  Any comments ?  has 
anyone heard of any success in building gmake with Watcom ?  I googled but 
couldn't find anything.

Michael Mounteney, technical director.
Landcroft Computing Ltd.

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