The quiet revolution that turned the build world upside-down

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One of the best things about the C language was that it introduced Make, one of the first general-purpose build tools. Make worked as a transformation tool, transforming one file type into another with a (hopefully) small set of commands. Given a target, Make can work its way backward through a set of transformations to determine all the commands needed to build the target and then execute them as necessary.

But Make was not very smart. You needed to specify all the transformations necessary to build your product, even though most of the transformations are trivial. You needed to spell out all the files that went into making the final product or somehow organize them so that they could be inferred with wildcards. This led to a lot of boilerplate and pseudo-standards that might deviate from one project to another. …


Randal Kamradt Sr

Randal has been a software dev for thirty years but still manages to keep on top of the latest tech trends.

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