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C++ All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition by John Paul Mueller, Jeff Cogswell

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Appendix

Automating Your Applications with Makefiles

In This Appendix

arrow Compiling and linking your applications

arrow Automating your work

arrow Implying work with inference rules in your Makefiles

arrow Getting the most out of Makefiles

Since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of the Unix operating system, programmers have used a utility called make to build their applications. And it’s still often used today. The make utility looks at which of your source code files have changed and decides what needs to be compiled and built.

Development tools, such as Code::Blocks and Microsoft Visual C++, don’t require you to use a make utility, because they have such decision-making features built in. But many free compilers use them. Fortunately, the process for creating and using make files is no longer as difficult as it once was. Third-party libraries come with make utilities (such as the Boost library’s Boost.Build; see Book VI, Chapter 4) that greatly reduce the complexity of creating and using make files.

Before using make, understanding the compile and link processes is important. ...

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