It’s time for makefiles to make a comeback
Jason Olson
79517

One of the best things about NodeJS is its ability to work on Windows/Mac/Linux in very similar ways (with several exceptions). Most of my development begins on my primary Windows machine and ends up Dockerized on a Linux host.

I’ve used Make for projects before, but even in the C++ realm, I’ve found myself using CMake more because of its expressiveness. In NodeJS, I use NPM Scripts as a build system but to certain extents, this isnt perfect because complext scripts might rely on UNIX functionality that happens to work on Windows (such as &&), or NPM packages that perform cross platform things (such as rimraf).

Make is a powerful tool and one that should be learned, but I don’t agree that context should be within the realm of NodeJS.

A better solution for languages designed to be cross platform (such as JS/Node) would be a Makefile-like system that abstracts away certian commands (such as rm -rf, mkdir) into cross platform commands that execute platform specific functionality.

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