To make or not to make

In reply to my earlier post about make, one reader was curious as to why I never used this important tool before.

The answer is, in short, that I've never *had* to use it. Back in the day, I wasn't using Unix a lot, and the systems I did use (mostly DOS and Windows) often had environments and languages that made make unnecessary.

For example, in the middle 90s I used Turbo Pascal. With its system of "units", this flavor of Pascal encouraged breaking up a program into smaller pieces. And while it did come with a make-like tool, I never actually used this, because the powerful IDE figured out all the dependencies and automagically compiled all the necessary units. (And did so at lightning speed, by the way. I later dabbled with Turbo C++, which was much slower in this respect.) No makefile required.

Delphi is really "Turbo Pascal for Windows", and as such has a similar way of figuring out dependent modules and building them.

And, of course, for the last 5-6 years, Python has been my main programming language, and it doesn't even have a concept of a "build"... so again make is not necessary, or at least not an obvious tool when working with Python.

In other words, make was written to solve a problem that I never had. Or very rarely. I plan to stick with interpreted languages for a while, so I don't expect to need it anytime soon... but you never know in this profession. :-)