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more built-in functions, make shell

From: Jonathan Baccash
Subject: more built-in functions, make shell
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 11:47:14 -0700

Make delegates a certain amount of work to the shell and utility
programs.  This reliance on external programs makes make powerful but
makes making portable makefiles more difficult.

It would be cool if GNU make did more of the mundane make tasks as
built-in make functions.  This would greatly simplify porting
(especially to Windows) and probably make Windows make faster.

By mundane tasks, I mean things like:
file copy/move/install
file removal
find files

Something like $(mkdir a/b/c) makes the directories and echos what it
is doing.  Would that be a good idea?

The other main thing is the interpretation of make commands by the
shell.  Perhaps make could have its own "make shell" that comes with
make and can be selected via the SHELL variable.  In that case, we
could use the normal syntax to do mkdir, etc., but these mundane tasks
could be shell built-ins.  That would be particularly cool.  No?


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