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Re: Debugging makefiles


On Wed, Oct 02, 2002 at 07:25:01PM +1000, Russell wrote:
> I've been frustrated too many times when trying to debug
> a project (that i didn't write) with a problem in its
> complicated recursive-into-subdirectories makefiles,
> and associated addons/includes into the makefiles.

Usually, if I don't understand a Makefile exactly after reading it two
or three times, I try to rewrite it from scratch. Usually I end up with
something that is much simpler (because the upstream Makefile grew over
time and has history's collected cruft in it), or with something that
basically only has a few target names exchanged (but then I know why).

> I was wondering how other developers go about it. Are there
> any tools like an interactive makefile debugger? The gnu make
> options seem too limited, and it can't even print line numbers
> of the execution path thru makefiles.

Such tools would only work with a few simple Makefiles, which one could
understand anyway.


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