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Re: more built-in functions, make shell

From: Paul D. Smith
Subject: Re: more built-in functions, make shell
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 17:02:07 -0400

%% Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

  >> Date: Sun,  3 Jul 2005 11:41:08 +0000
  >> From: "Earnie Boyd" <address@hidden>
  >> Cc: <address@hidden>, <address@hidden>
  >> I see the benefits but I don't know if the benefits outway the
  >> headaches it might cause.

  ez> What headaches are those?  If the implementation is compatible with
  ez> Bourne shell, it will work as if you had a shell installed.  I don't
  ez> see any headaches here.

Hi all.

First, the next major feature enhancement to GNU make is very likely to
be the integration of Guile as an embedded scripting language.  This
will give you all the built-in scripting ability that you could ever

Second, if the kind of thing that you suggest were to be done I don't
think it necessarily belongs embedded in GNU make.  Make makes it very,
very easy to use whatever shell you prefer, simply by setting the SHELL
variable.  I think that a portable, all-in-one replacement for a UNIX
shell + utilities is actually a really interesting idea, but I don't
think its usefulness is in any way restricted to GNU make, and as such I
don't really think embedding it into GNU make is the right thing to do.

Further, it seems to me that there is at least one project that _already
does this_: busybox <>.  There may well
be others; try asking Google or even on the BusyBox lists to find out.

BusyBox seems a perfect complement to GNU make from a portability
perspective, actually.  Now it's certainly true that SOME of the busybox
commands are very Linux specific, such as the loadable module commands,
mount/umount, etc.  And, I don't think BusyBox has been ported to
Windows yet.  But many of the commands for BusyBox are generic shell
commands, and the authors state on the docs page that it should be quite
possible to port it to Windows.

My opinion is that if you want a builtin, portable shell for use with
GNU make and you don't want to use Guile, porting BusyBox to Windows is
your best bet.

 Paul D. Smith <address@hidden>          Find some GNU make tips at:            
 "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist

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