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.PHONY vs. .EXEC (was: conditionally forcing a target to be built)

Thanks, that's about the same thing with .PHONY instead of .EXEC.

My understanding of .PHONY was more "don't waste your time stat()ing it, 
it doesn't exist anyway".

However, I'm a bit confused by the wording in the description of .EXEC:
	.EXEC	Target is never out of date, but always execute commands
This semmes to imply a distinction between a target considered out of date 
and the commands being executed.
Is there any subtle difference between what .EXEC causes to be done vs. 
what is done if the target is out of date?

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