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Software Build Systems: Principles and Experience by Peter Smith

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Chapter 6. Make

The first build tool this book examines in detail is Make [40]. You’ve already seen a basic example of using Make in Chapter 2, “A Make-Based Build System,” and many developers are familiar with this popular tool. This chapter explores the syntax of Make-based build systems in more detail and presents a number of practical use cases.

Created in 1977, Make has revolutionized the way software is compiled. For many years, Make was the only build tool available; new tools created since that time (such as Ant, CMake, and SCons) introduced themselves as a “Make replacement.” There’s certainly no ignoring the valuable contribution Make has provided to the software industry.

Central to Make’s operation is the concept of a rule, providing ...

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