>> The contents of these files don't seem so different to me that they
>> couldn't be consolidated, perhaps with some command-line overrides
>> or similar. Or, maybe some of them are just not needed; do we
>> really have to be able to build with nmake and smake?
> How about moving them to a subdirectory, where they could bit-rot out
> of sight?
In the presence of a version control system, even one as basic as CVS,
deletion isn't fundamentally worse than leaving them to bit-rot out of
site - they can always be recovered from the version-control system -
and has the virtue of not cluttering up the source tree with things that
aren't adequately supported.
>> What I was thinking was this: write a very simple, very generic and
>> portable makefile that can build make. It wouldn't have lots of fancy
>> targets like the current SMakefile/NMakefile have, for creating
>> distributions etc. Just the compile and link.
> That would be good, yes.
> Another thing that is probably needed is a script to run the test
> suite. One of the first things you might want to do after building
> Make on a new platform or system configuration is to see whether the
> build passes the test suite.
Once you've built GNU make itself, *all* other operations are best
encoded in your generic portable makefile, IMO. Of course, Paul might
want to exercise some restraint on just how many things go into it, but
the mere fact of insisting everything in it be portable and generic
should suffice to limit creature feep. I would suppose testing to be
one of the more natural things to include in such a make file - rather
than as a separate script. After all, if you're testing make, doing so
via a make-file is itself part of testing it works !