Chapter 4 PMake for Gods

Table of Contents
4.1. Search Paths
4.2. Archives and Libraries
4.3. On the Condition...
4.4. A Shell is a Shell is a Shell
4.5. Compatibility
4.6. DEFCON 3 - Variable Expansion
4.7. DEFCON 2 - The Number of the Beast
4.8. DEFCON 1 - Imitation is the Not the Highest Form of Flattery
4.9. The Way Things Work

This chapter is devoted to those facilities in PMake that allow you to do a great deal in a makefile with very little work, as well as do some things you could not do in Make without a great deal of work (and perhaps the use of other programs). The problem with these features, is they must be handled with care, or you will end up with a mess.

Once more, I assume a greater familiarity with UNIX® or Sprite than I did in the previous two chapters.

4.1. Search Paths

PMake supports the dispersal of files into multiple directories by allowing you to specify places to look for sources with .PATH targets in the makefile. The directories you give as sources for these targets make up a “search path”. Only those files used exclusively as sources are actually sought on a search path, the assumption being that anything listed as a target in the makefile can be created by the makefile and thus should be in the current directory.

There are two types of search paths in PMake: one is used for all types of files (including included makefiles) and is specified with a plain .PATH target (e.g. .PATH : RCS), while the other is specific to a certain type of file, as indicated by the file's suffix. A specific search path is indicated by immediately following the .PATH with the suffix of the file. For instance:

.PATH.h         : /sprite/lib/include /sprite/att/lib/include

would tell PMake to look in the directories /sprite/lib/include and /sprite/att/lib/include for any files whose suffix is .h.

The current directory is always consulted first to see if a file exists. Only if it cannot be found there are the directories in the specific search path, followed by those in the general search path, consulted.

A search path is also used when expanding wildcard characters. If the pattern has a recognizable suffix on it, the path for that suffix will be used for the expansion. Otherwise the default search path is employed.

When a file is found in some directory other than the current one, all local variables that would have contained the target's name (.ALLSRC, and .IMPSRC) will instead contain the path to the file, as found by PMake. Thus if you have a file ../lib/mumble.c and a makefile like this:

.PATH.c         : ../lib
mumble          : mumble.c
    $(CC) -o $(.TARGET) $(.ALLSRC)

the command executed to create mumble would be cc -o mumble ../lib/mumble.c. (as an aside, the command in this case is not strictly necessary, since it will be found using transformation rules if it is not given. This is because .out is the null suffix by default and a transformation exists from .c to .out. Just thought I would throw that in). If a file exists in two directories on the same search path, the file in the first directory on the path will be the one PMake uses. So if you have a large system spread over many directories, it would behoove you to follow a naming convention that avoids such conflicts.

Something you should know about the way search paths are implemented is that each directory is read, and its contents cached, exactly once - when it is first encountered - so any changes to the directories while PMake is running will not be noted when searching for implicit sources, nor will they be found when PMake attempts to discover when the file was last modified, unless the file was created in the current directory. While people have suggested that PMake should read the directories each time, my experience suggests that the caching seldom causes problems. In addition, not caching the directories slows things down enormously because of PMake's attempts to apply transformation rules through non-existent files - the number of extra file-system searches is truly staggering, especially if many files without suffixes are used and the null suffix is not changed from .out.

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