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How to maintain program version info with Make?

From: Bob Stark
Subject: How to maintain program version info with Make?
Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 04:27:14 -0400

I am using make in a non-traditional way, to build training courseware documents together into Adobe Acrobat PDF files, and then have all of that wrapped up into zip files.

I am slowly getting deeper into make, with the goal to automate a multi-step courseware build process so that less technical people in my office can perform it. If a few typos are found in some material, it can be repaired and new version rebuilt without involving me.

I currently set and track the courseware version number manually. When I go to a new version, I run a program that updates the version number and date in the footers of all the documents.

I'd like to automate this step, and keep a file in my directory with the current version number, either in the contents of the file, or in the filename. I need a few operations on this file, something like:

make showversion    # Show current version number and date
make setversion     # Set new version number into tracking file
make setfiledate    # Set filedate of all files to midnight on version date
make setfooters     # Store the version and filedate in document footers

These are just proposed externals, I'll come up with better names as it shakes out.

What is a good practice for doing this on a win32 platform? The examples I see involve UNIX tools like sed and awk, which I hesitate to have to install onto secretaries PCs at work, but if that works for people, I'd do it, since I already must install make, pkzipc, and my document manipulation programs.

Can someone point me to a good example or two of how this is done in practice? An annotated example is worth a thousand words...


Bob Stark [ProTech - When you're serious about Systems Management]
Consulting, Software, and Training for OS/390, UNIX and Internet 800-373-9188 x150 412-445-8072

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