Subject: sanitising make(1) variable overrides
To: None <>
From: Luke Mewburn <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 01/26/1999 12:49:33
an issue which has slightly annoyed me for a while is the mess that
is the method in which you control make(1)'s operation on the netbsd
source tree with variables. (something which i have contributed to,
i admit :)

* we have stuff like NOMAN, NOPIC, NOPROFILE, NOSHARE, etc.  the problem
  with these is that if you you have NOMAN=yes in /etc/mk.conf you can't
  override it from the command line.

* i find LDSTATIC annoying because to link static programs i have to
  do `make LDSTATIC=-static', rather than `make STATIC=' or whatever.
  having the ability to define the flag to like statically is fine,
  but requiring that to be explicitly defined is painful.

* a method in which to disable CATPAGES (NOCATPAGES? :) would be useful
  (my cpu is fast enough to nroff on the fly for the times i read man
  pages, and make build would be must faster without catpages).
  i was about to add this requirement when i realised that i was annoyed
  by the first issue above, and i didn't want to make things worse.

* the documentation for a lot of these controls is sparse at best.

i'm playing around with a couple of different ideas. one that might
work is something like:

* add MKMAN, MKPIC, MKPROFILE, MKSHARE which can be either `yes' or `no'.
  this is so make can do
	.if ($MKMAN != "yes")
  or whatever, and know it always works. the *.mk files can check these
  settings for sanity as well.

* set the above appropriately if NOMAN, NOPIC, ... is set at all,
  and deprecate use of these in the tree. we still support them
  anyway. maybe print a warning if they are used.

* add support for MKCATPAGES, MKSTATIC (which uses LDSTATIC iff necessary)

* fix the docco.