Make replacement for Erlang - suggestions?

Eric Merritt <>
Mon Sep 23 14:56:06 CEST 2002


> I'd be tempted to write it all off as java
> not-invented-here syndrome,
> but they guys I asked are good programmers who know
> unix, so I guess
> it's a real win for java.
>
> Didn't sound like it had any fundamental
> improvements that one would
> want in a new Make replacement for unix-like
> environments though.

I guess it would depend on what you considered
fundamental improvements. I will agree with you, the
functionality of make is pretty much all there. I am
sure there are not to many features that it is lacking
at this time. I have two big problems with make
 
1) The fact that you can not really write
cross-platform make files.

2) The ugly non-intuitive syntax, and distribution of
make files. (* This is of course my opinion, and I
realize that not everyone shares this opinion with me.
*)

As for the first problem, for languages like C/C++ etc
I don't really know how you could create a truly
cross-platform makefile or at least a makefile without
a lot of branches and tweeks for each platform. So
much of the compilation of these langauges requires
platform specific tweeks. However, for languages like
Java, Erlang, Python, Ocaml, etc. that are inherently
cross-platform this is not a problem.

2) I am a big believer the the fact that a languages
syntax matters a great deal to its understandability
and maintainability. To me, the standard 'make' syntax
leaves a whole lot to be desired. Many would argue
that this is a waste of time, I don't agree with that
assessment at all. 

I think make is so ubiquitous becuase its is available
on allot of platforms, it's free, and replacing all
it's functionality would take a significant amount of
time. At this point it has a significant amount of
market share as well.

Fortunatly, my goal is not to replace make for
everyone. Only to replace make for myself, if anyone
else who would like to use it thats fine too. Also I
would like to build in support for it into the eclipse
plugin I have been working on.

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