(autoconf.info)The Make Macro MAKEFLAGS

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11.8 The Make Macro MAKEFLAGS

Posix requires `make' to use `MAKEFLAGS' to affect the current and
recursive invocations of make, but allows implementations several
formats for the variable.  It is tricky to parse `$MAKEFLAGS' to
determine whether `-s' for silent execution or `-k' for continued
execution are in effect.  For example, you cannot assume that the first
space-separated word in `$MAKEFLAGS' contains single-letter options,
since in the Cygwin version of GNU `make' it is either `--unix' or
`--win32' with the second word containing single-letter options.

     $ cat Makefile
             @echo MAKEFLAGS = $(MAKEFLAGS)
     $ make
     MAKEFLAGS = --unix
     $ make -k
     MAKEFLAGS = --unix -k

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