(make.info)Defining


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Defining Variables Verbatim
===========================

Another way to set the value of a variable is to use the `define'
directive.  This directive has an unusual syntax which allows newline
characters to be included in the value, which is convenient for defining
canned sequences of commands (*note Defining Canned Command Sequences:
Sequences.).

   The `define' directive is followed on the same line by the name of
the variable and nothing more.  The value to give the variable appears
on the following lines.  The end of the value is marked by a line
containing just the word `endef'.  Aside from this difference in
syntax, `define' works just like `=': it creates a recursively-expanded
variable (Note: The Two Flavors of Variables.).  The variable
name may contain function and variable references, which are expanded
when the directive is read to find the actual variable name to use.

     define two-lines
     echo foo
     echo $(bar)
     endef

   The value in an ordinary assignment cannot contain a newline; but the
newlines that separate the lines of the value in a `define' become part
of the variable's value (except for the final newline which precedes
the `endef' and is not considered part of the value).

   The previous example is functionally equivalent to this:

     two-lines = echo foo; echo $(bar)

since two commands separated by semicolon behave much like two separate
shell commands.  However, note that using two separate lines means
`make' will invoke the shell twice, running an independent subshell for
each line.  Note: Command Execution.

   If you want variable definitions made with `define' to take
precedence over command-line variable definitions, you can use the
`override' directive together with `define':

     override define two-lines
     foo
     $(bar)
     endef

Note: The `override' Directive.


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