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Software Build Systems: Principles and Experience by Peter Smith

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Chapter 17. Reducing Complexity for End Users

For most software developers, a build system is purely a means to compile code. They don’t care how the build process works, as long as their program is compiled in a reasonable amount of time. To produce a fully compiled software package, all they want is a single button to push or a single command to execute. In reality, though, a build system requires some amount of maintenance. At the least, developers must take the time to list the source files to be compiled and the compilation flags to be used. In the worst case, they can find themselves fighting against a faulty dependency system or simply waiting too long for their build to complete.

These problems become worse as the software grows in size, ...

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