[erlang-questions] Parallel Make in OTP

Peter-Henry Mander phmander@REDACTED
Fri Dec 18 15:14:38 CET 2009

Hi Jáchym,

I agree that the GoogleCode T-Build stuff is clunky. I'm revising
T-Build at the moment, and I'm dissatisfied with it. I'm confident
that I can scan for dependencies using a single Makefile, and not have
to resort to the weird nested include files. T-Build is too complex.
All a project should need is one Makefile.

At the moment, adding new applications to a build means inserting
symlinks, so it's not entirely hands-free. I want the Makefile to be
immutable, capable of scanning for additions, deletions, and
-include*(). dependencies (although that may still require a bit of
Bash voodoo under the covers). As long as the project directory
structure is similar, it should all Just Work. I'm aiming for zero
Makefile maintenance, which I believe is desirable regardless which
build system is used.

I've heard many suggestions of replacements for Make, but a lot of
them don't have any difference or enhancement that warrants jumping
ship. Most seem to be changes in style more than in substance (but
someone prove me wrong, please).

Apart from Sinan, maybe. But I've not looked at it hard enough.
Considering the "old school" methods and process that we use in
T-Mobile, Sinan's agile style is also a leap in culture which, I found
from experience in the Previous Place, is much harder to push in a

On a tangent: What if a declarative, rules based system was available
in Erlang (someone's going to tell me there is one, for sure!), what
other projects besides a drop-in replacement for a parallel,
distributed Make could be made possible?


On 12/18/09, Jachym Holecek <freza@REDACTED> wrote:
> Hi Pete,
> long time no see, how are you?
> # Peter-Henry Mander 2009-12-17:
>> There's a thread on erlang-bugs list discussing "Recursive Make
>> Considered Harmful" [1] Which inspired me while I struggled with
>> parallel make in our T-Build system in T-Mobile [2]. Despite the lack
>> of activity on Code.Google.Com, I actively maintain T-Build in house.
> This looks good! The download process isn't quite straightforward,
> following the instructions misses the Template/Template-2.0 dirs,
> so perhaps the Projects checkout needs to be done recursively.
> Looking forward to seeing an updated version, I'd be insterested
> in supporting git in addition to svn.
>> I want to put my oar in and respectfully ask not to ditch Gnu Make in
>> OTP. It's a much maligned beast with an ugly syntax, but it's a
>> phenomenally powerful one. Other build tools just don't cut it.
> Side note: Actually, bmake[1] can cut a lot of things. The way it's
> traditionally used is the "good old" recursive make, which I agree
> is rather suboptimal.
> Regards,
> 	-- Jachym
> [1] http://netbsd.gw.com/cgi-bin/man-cgi?make++NetBSD-current

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