A File Construction Tool (Think 'make')

Cook is a tool for constructing files. It is given a set of files to create and recipes of how to create them. In any nontrivial program, there are prerequisites to perform the actions necessary to create any file, such as include files. The cook program provides a mechanism to define these. When a program is being developed or maintained, the programmer typically changes one file of several that comprise the program. Cook examines the last-modified times of the files to see when the prerequisites of a file have changed, implying that the file needs to be recreated as it is logically out of date. Cook also provides a facility for implicit recipes, allowing users to specify how to form a file with a given suffix from a file with a different suffix. For example, to create filename.o from filename.c. * Cook is a replacement for the traditional make(1) tool. However, it is necessary to convert make files into cookbooks using the make2cook utility included in the distribution. * Cook has a simple but powerful string-based description language with many built-in functions. This allows sophisticated filename specification and manipulation without loss of readability or performance. * Cook is able to use fingerprints to supplement file modification times. This allows build optimization without contorted rules. * Cook is able to build your project with multiple parallel threads, with support for rules that must be single threaded. It is possible to distribute parallel builds over your LAN, allowing you to turn your network into a virtual parallel build engine. If you are putting together a source-code distribution and planning to write a make file, consider writing a cookbook instead. Although Cook takes a day or two to learn, it is much more powerful and a bit more intuitive than the traditional make(1) tool.

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