"Portable" conditionalization of Makefiles

Dave B g8kbvdave at googlemail.com
Thu Mar 22 13:55:47 UTC 2018

On 22/03/18 12:00, freebsd-questions-request at freebsd.org wrote:
>> There's a chance that I may distribute this stuff someday.  When and
>> if I do, I'd like to be able to tell people to "just run make" in the
>> top-level directory, regardless of whether they are on Linux or *BSD.
>> (I -could- just tell people to use gmake if they are on *BSD, but I'd
>> rather not.)
> Why not concatenate all the C code (including the library) into a
> single large file and let people just compile it on whatever system
> they have? Make is for developers, so that they can avoid compiling
> everything when they change a small routine. But your users are not
> developers, and don't recompile every day, so they don't benefit from
> make, it only introduces an incompatibility.
> daniel feenberg 

As a "User"...   I find:-

(and optionally)
sudo make install
(On various flavors of Linux at least)

Works well, and does make things largely cross platform in the Posix
world, where configure and make between them figure out what can/cant be
used and conditionally compile accordingly.

The LAST thing you want users to be doing, is compiling another version
of a library that might already exist.  (Remember DLL Hell under Windows?)

Having to sift through random source code and figure out manually how to
turn it into a usable application (or ...) is a massive step backwards. 
Unless you want/need to for some specific reason, and I'm not going to
stop you from that, but for the rest of us....

It's that flexibility that has contributed to the various Linux's
outstripping the BSD's as a "user" platform in my opinion. Not that that
counts for much these days.  (with the exception of Apple products, but
the amount of extra development time and money they invested, well.)

BSD is good, and has some very neat features, but for the masses, it's
way behind even the creakiest Linux distro in user friendliness, in
regards to building from source.

Tin had and fire extinguisher at the ready.


Dave B.
Part time FreeBSD user since 5.4 I think. (Was introduced to it for GPS
based timekeeping with NTPD etc.)
Dos/Windows for decades (and still at work sadly.)
For my own personal needs, I'm now 99+% a Linux user at the desktop, but
for special server needs, FreeBSD does take some beating, and I can't
fault the reliability.  My last FreeBSD box ran for over 2 years non
stop without issue, until a fan failed and the PSU cooked.

Created on and sent from a Unix like PC running and using free and open source software:

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