A declarative make-like interpreter.

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OtherLicense licensed by Marc Coiffier

Grow is a well-defined replacement for Makefiles and the like to build complex hierarchies of files with minimal effort.

Like many Makefile-like tools, Grow depends on the notion of timestamps to determine whether a file should be recompiled or not. Grow is much simpler than those, though, and I might argue way easier to use as well.

On startup, Grow will look for a file named Seed in the current directory, and evaluate the grow expressions contained within.

For example, here is a simple Seed file to compile a single C file into an executable.

tee $$arg:in
  all = ($main:seq "All done !"):in $execs
  execs = hook ld [main] [main.o] :in $objects
  objects = hook cc [main.o] [main.c]

Notice the hook function ? It is the Grow primitive that calls an external program to perform actual tasks.

In Grow, hooks are expected to only accept files as their arguments, so we have to write the wrapper scripts cc and ld that accept arguments in the form "destination... source...". They are pretty trivial to write since they only involve renaming variables and swapping arguments.

Here are sample cc and ld scripts to show you there is nothing magical about them :

obj="$1" ; shift ; src="$1"
gcc -c "$src" -o "$obj"
bin="$1" ; shift ; obj="$1"
gcc "$obj" -o "$bin"

In grow, instead of writing recipes in the configuration, we just declare hooks and then write the appropriate wrapper scripts to call compilers with the correct flags and arguments.

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