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Step into Xcode Mac OS X Development by Fritz Anderson

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Chapter 24. A Large Project

Not every worthwhile software-source product is packaged as an Xcode project. The vast library of open-source software available for UNIX systems, such as Mac OS X, come as tarballs—archives packaged and compressed by the tar command line tool— to be built from the command line, using the make command.

The make tool—on Mac OS X it is GNU make—takes as its input a makefile, specifying how products in a project are to be built. The makefile specifies that some files, say, a .o file from a compilation, depend on others, such as the .c file of the same name, along with a set of .h files. On the strength of that information, make can detect whether a product’s dependencies are newer than the product and, if so, can issue ...

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