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A reusable, but flexible, boilerplate Makefile.
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Boilermake - A reusable, but flexible, boilerplate makefile. Overview -------- Boilermake is a reusable GNU Make compatible Makefile. It uses a non-recursive strategy which avoids the many well-known pitfalls of recursive make. Currently, boilermake only knows how to build C and C++ programs. Boilermake requires GNU Make version 3.81 or later. Earlier versions of GNU Make lack some required functionality. Boilermake is free software. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Using Boilermake ---------------- To use the boilermake Makefile you need to create makefile fragments, called "submakefiles" in boilermake parlance, which tell boilermake how to build your program. A special submakefile named main.mk must be created. This is the first submakefile that boilermake will look for and read. A very minimal main.mk might look something like this: TARGET := foo SOURCES := bar.c baz.c This main.mk instructs boilermake to build a program named foo by compiling and linking bar.c and baz.c. Again, this is just a *minimal* example. Additional variables recognized by boilermake can allow for pretty powerful and flexible builds. Even with this simple example, "#include" dependencies are automatically generated, a "clean" rule is generated, and all intermediate (.o) files are output under a directory named "build". Boilermake Variables -------------------- The previous example illustrated the use of a couple of boilermake's special variables: TARGET and SOURCES. Boilermake has many other special variables that can be used in your main.mk (or other submakefiles). All of the special variables that boilermake uses are documented in the MANUAL file distributed with boilermake. See that file for information about each variable's purpose. Submakefiles ------------ In addition to main.mk, you can also create other "submakefiles" to modularize or compartmentalize your build information. Submakefiles can be included using the SUBMAKEFILES variable. Submakefiles can include other submakefiles, allowing for a hierarchy of submakefiles. For instance, you might find it convenient to create a submakefile for every subdirectory in your project. Targets ------- The final products of a build are referred to as "targets" in boilermake. Each submakefile can define at most one target. However, a single boilermake "project" containing multiple submakefiles can build many targets -- up to one per submakefile. Targets are defined using the TARGET variable, and they may be executables (including shared objects) or static libraries. If a target's name ends with ".a", then boilermake will build that target as a static library, otherwise the target will be built as an executable. Submakefiles are Makefiles -------------------------- Submakefiles are processed as normal GNU Makefiles, so all the GNU Make syntax and processing rules apply. You can create variables of your own. You can use conditional logic. Anything you can do in a normal GNU Makefile, you can do in your submakefiles. You can get really advanced and define your own targets without using the boilermake TARGET variable. The key thing is that boilermake defines a number of special variables that you can use to automatically create build rules that can otherwise be quite difficult to get right. Example Test Application ------------------------ The test-app directory contains a simple example main.mk with several submakefiles, illustrating how to build a small sample application.