How hard is it to get dependencies for your project to use in a Makefile?
Well, it depends.
The thing with complex projects is that they very often require complex build scripts. The build script for a given project can be a mix of Bash, Perl, and Make scripts. It is often convenient to write a script that ensures that all the project’s dependencies are installed, of the right version, or that builds them if necessary.
We often also need much simpler things to be done, like generating a build number, from within the makefile script. If you use makefiles, you know just how fun they are to hack and you probably do the same as I do: minimally modify the same makefile you wrote back in 1995 (or “borrowed” from somewhere else.) In many cases, that makes perfect sense: it does just what it has to do. In this week’s post, I show how to interface (although minimally) Bash from Make.