Cook is a tool for constructing files. It is given a set of files to
create, and recipes of how to create them. In any non-trivial program
there will be prerequisites to performing the actions necessary to
creating any file, such as include files. Cook provides a
mechanism to define these.
When a program is being developed or maintained, the programmer will
typically change one file of several which comprise the program. Cook
examines the last-modified times of the files to see when the
prerequisites of a file have changed, implying that the file needs to be
recreated as it is logically out of date.
Cook also provides a facility for implicit recipes, allowing users to
specify how to form a file with a given suffix from a file with a
different suffix. For example, to create filename.o
Cook is a replacement for the traditional make(1) tool.
There is a make2cook utility included in the distribution
to help convert makefiles into cookbooks.
Cook is more powerful than the traditional make tool.
Cook has true variables, not simple macros.
Cook has a simple but powerful string-based description language with
many built-in functions. This allows sophisticated filename
specification and manipulation without loss of readability or
Cook has user defined functions.
Cook can build in parallel.
Cook is able to build your project with multiple parallel threads, with
support for rules which must be single threaded. It is possible to
distribute parallel builds over your LAN, allowing you to turn your
network into a virtual parallel build engine.
Cook can distribute builds across your LAN.
Cook is able to use fingerprints to supplement file modification
times. This allows build optimization without contorted rules.
Cook can be configured with an explicit list of primary source files.
This allow the dependency graph to be constructed faster by not going
down dead ends, and also allows better error messages when the graph
can't be constructed. This requires an accurate source file manifest.
In addition to walking the dependency graph,
Cook can turn the input rules into a shell script, or a web page.
Cook runs on almost any flavor of UNIX. The source distribution is self
configuring using a GNU Autoconf generated configure script.
Cook has special cascade dependencies, allowing powerful include
dependency specification, amongst other things.
See the README file for a description
of the new features and bug-fixes in this release. This is also in the
Cook Reference Manual, along with the
build and installation instructions, and all of the manual pages.
If you are putting together a source-code distribution and planning to
write a makefile, consider writing a cookbook instead. Although
Cook takes a day or two to learn, it is much more powerful and a bit
more intuitive than the traditional make(1) tool.
And Cook doesn't interpret tab differently to 8 space characters!
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