(make.info)Reference


Next: Flavors Up: Using Variables

Basics of Variable References
=============================

   To substitute a variable's value, write a dollar sign followed by
the name of the variable in parentheses or braces: either `$(foo)' or
`${foo}' is a valid reference to the variable `foo'.  This special
significance of `$' is why you must write `$$' to have the effect of a
single dollar sign in a file name or command.

   Variable references can be used in any context: targets,
dependencies, commands, most directives, and new variable values.  Here
is an example of a common case, where a variable holds the names of all
the object files in a program:

     objects = program.o foo.o utils.o
     program : $(objects)
             cc -o program $(objects)
     
     $(objects) : defs.h

   Variable references work by strict textual substitution.  Thus, the
rule

     foo = c
     prog.o : prog.$(foo)
             $(foo)$(foo) -$(foo) prog.$(foo)

could be used to compile a C program `prog.c'.  Since spaces before the
variable value are ignored in variable assignments, the value of `foo'
is precisely `c'.  (Don't actually write your makefiles this way!)

   A dollar sign followed by a character other than a dollar sign,
open-parenthesis or open-brace treats that single character as the
variable name.  Thus, you could reference the variable `x' with `$x'.
However, this practice is strongly discouraged, except in the case of
the automatic variables (Note: Automatic Variables.).


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