[tex-eplain] Indexing and how to determine file dependencies

john@wexfordpress.net john@wexfordpress.net
21 Feb 2001 06:53:02 -0800

On Tue, 20 February 2001, Greg Black wrote:

> john@wexfordpress.net (who doesn't seem to know how to control
> line lengths sensibly in his mailer) wrote:
> > Your incorrect assumption is that the make program has a
> > useful function to perform in the index creation process. IMHO
> > it does not.
> This is an absurd claim, probably based on ignorance of how to
> use make.  

You are then a better person to answer Guy's question. I do not create make files because scripts serve my purpose. Given the essentially monolithic nature of the TeX process (there is no equivalent of the previously compiled module found in compiling and linking big software projects) the creation of a TeX document will have to process all the bits and pieces together in a single run.
So a script that causes all this to happen does fine for me. 

I don't doubt you have used make . What I question is whether you acheved significantly better results than you could have with a simple script.  If you can educate me on the advantages of make over scripting in your products I would be grateful. If I can create a large document with three indexes in less than half a minute then the script approach is certainly feasable. The make aproach would be advantageous if and only if you could skip certain steps safely after changing certan bits and pieces. 

Make works by sensing the date and time of a piece of code. If the code for a particular chapter is changes it may impact the bibliography or it may not; it may impact the index or it may not. The only safe  course is to rerun the indexing and biblio software again. 
Similarly TeX/LaTeX does not link previously typeset modules of text together. So if chapter 15 changes the entire book should be reset via TeX or LaTeX. Pagination may change . The Table of Contents may change. Make has no way of sensing these changes or the absence of these changes. 

Ultimately you must rerun everything anyhow. The make protocol, which selectively process bits and pieces based on date/time stamps has no special virtue that I can divine. 

Perhaps you can describe a situation where make would save time or labor versus a simple script. If so I would be glad to be enlightened. 


John Culleton

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