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Re: make -V

On Thu, 23 Aug 2012 04:55:49 +0000, David Holland writes:
>No, nobody wants the default behavior changed. But that doesn't rule
>out a command-line switch. If you want the full expansion, do "make
>-xV FOO" or something instead of "make -V FOO".

Keep in mind I'm trying to rationalize two systems which have different
default behaviors.  

If anyone's default changes it would be more sensible for it to be
NetBSD's since as useful as the ability to see the unexpanded value is
(I know since I use it a *lot*), it isn't ever used or relied on in the
build.   It is for human consumption - such as when debuging things.
So adding a debug flag (as one of the early responders suggested) as in

make -dV -V FOO -V GOO

would make sense - this is what my original patch did.

However, the NetBSD developers didn't want their default to change, fair

The FreeBSD developers have an even better case as to why their
default should not change - since their build does rely on it.
And frankly the hoops that the NetBSD build jumps through to compensate
for the default behavior do not consitute a good argument.

A knob like this (regardless of where it is set) may not be the ideal
solution but the above impasse rules out an ideal solution.

>Also, given that the -V option does not evaluate makefiles in the
>normal way, it's a little odd for its behavior to depend on (or even
>be able to depend on) settings in the makefiles themselves.

Nonsense.  The value of -V lies in the fact that is actioned after all
makefiles have been read and it should reflect that.

I'm happy with the debug flag approach or the knob.
The knob is less attractive as it perpetuates the different behaviour,
but those are the options which I think make sense.

Actually I could do both - the debug flag, with change in default
behavior (for NetBSD), and if anyone finds that offensive, they can use
the knob to restore their preference.
This would at least on its face eliminate the disparate default behavior
which should be in everyone's interest.


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