GNU Make

(4)
4.9 out of 5 stars

Make is a tool which controls the generation of executables and other non-source files of a program from the program's source files.

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GNU Make review by <span>Miguel Angel A.</span>
Miguel Angel A.
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A very useful tool for compilation and task automation.

What do you like best?

The best thing about GNU Make is how it integrates with the user's installed shell commands and applications. This makes it great to write batch processing scripts for all sort of tasks, beyond just compilation automation. It also makes automatic timestamp checking of produced files so that it doesn't have to repeat steps unnecessarily. It also has support for parallel execution of tasks.

Also, it's command language is simpler than Microsoft's BAT and other shell script formats, a plus for writing scripts manually.

Since GNU Make (and UNIX make tool by extension) are old and time-tested tools there is also lot's of support for it, with things like libtool, automake and Cmake helping with the generation of makefiles for complex compilation workflows.

What do you dislike?

It's an integral part of the UNIX compilation workflow so using it outside of UNIX systems (namely Windows) is complicated. There are alternatives like Mingw32-make and Cygwin that attempt to solve this problem, however.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Take some time to practice it a bit if you want to use it manually. Also I recommend learning make before learning other related tools like CMake or the autoconf, automake, libtool combo. Even if you don't ever write a line of a Makefile yourself it pays to know how to read one for debugging purposes.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use GNU Make personally to automate all sort of processes that produce intermediate files. Almost all my C/C++ projects use GNU Make (unless the size of the project is so small that adding Make becomes unnecessary).

I also use GNU Make to automate LaTeX compilations when writing technical reports and whitepapers.

I have even used it to compile Java projects using the LeJOS libraries for the LEGO Mindstorms robots since GNU Make is WAY easier to setup and use than Ant.

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GNU Make review by User in Defense & Space
User in Defense & Space
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Common/portable system to build projects.

What do you like best?

The tool is free and open source.

There is plenty of free tutorials online to help with troubleshooting.

What do you dislike?

With a big project, things get complex very quickly.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Once it's setup, it's very easy to use, sometimes it just takes some effort to get to that point on a larger project.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Managing the build process.

What Other Continuous Delivery solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
GNU Make review by <span>Rodrigo P.</span>
Rodrigo P.
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I use daily the make tool to compile programs

What do you like best?

Make is a very simple tool with a lot of functions.

What do you dislike?

The documentation for the tool is very antique.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make is a great tool to work with shell script and c language.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use the tool to compile programas, so I use to resolve all the problems in my work.

GNU Make review by G2 Crowd User
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Organic
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Simple Automation TOol

What do you like best?

I can easily describe the dependencies of my project, and then Make will automatically rebuild any that have changed dependencies – it makes partial builds extremely simple.

What do you dislike?

Some of the advanced features are difficult to use, and the documentation is often hard to navigate through.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Definitely give it a try as it is very simple to do, and significantly improves build times. In addition, using an automated build tool to manage partial builds is very helpful – you can detect build errors early rather than later on.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I was trying to solve the issue of having to manually manage my own building of my source code. Using Make, however, allowed me to more easily solve this problem.

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