Add a help target to a Makefile that will allow all targets to be self documenting
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|# Add the following 'help' target to your Makefile|
|# And add help text after each target name starting with '\#\#'|
|help: ## Show this help.|
|@fgrep -h "##" $(MAKEFILE_LIST) | fgrep -v fgrep | sed -e 's/\\$$//' | sed -e 's/##//'|
|# Everything below is an example|
|target00: ## This message will show up when typing 'make help'|
|@echo does nothing|
|target01: ## This message will also show up when typing 'make help'|
|@echo does something|
|# Remember that targets can have multiple entries (if your target specifications are very long, etc.)|
|target02: ## This message will show up too!!!|
|target02: target00 target01|
|@echo does even more|
Dec 8, 2022
@arvenil A bit of golfing and I got this to sort of work with the only deps being GNU
SHELL:=/bin/bash .PHONY: help help_target-funky+names.0k and_with_2_targets_and_spaces_like_bison help_target-funky+names.0k and_with_2_targets_and_spaces_like_bison: ## Funky ones & bison dual target display ok echo "bad - why are you not displaying?" help: ## bash help help: ## moar bash help @RE='^[a-zA-Z0-9 ._+-]*:[a-zA-Z0-9 ._+-]*##' ; while read line ; do [[ "$$line" =~ $$RE ]] && echo "$$line" ; done <$(MAKEFILE_LIST) ; RE=''
make help outputs
$ make help help_target-funky+names.0k and_with_2_targets_and_spaces_like_bison: ## Funky ones & bison dual target display ok help: ## bash help help: ## moar bash help
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One other note, since GNU Make is the most popular, it has a fairly powerful and underutilized optional integration of GNU Guile. GNU Guile is language in the Scheme & Lisp family of languages.
If Guile is a bridge too far, then consider bash's BASH_REMATCH facility.
It'll be a bit more code (file I/O, regexes, file parsing, etc) and you'll have to maintain it rather than depending on other well tested tooling like awk, sed, grep.