Monday, September 21, 2009

Makedepend: Error: Failed to Read ...

I complained a few months ago about makedepend not picking up dependencies, and gave a recipe for avoiding makedepend.

I'm stuck with it for a project, and a couple of times I've gotten a makedepend failure, with only this useless warning:

makedepend: error: failed to read [some directory name]

The problem ended up being an #include somewhere, where the opening double-quote (") was missing. One time I accidentally had a single-quote at the beginning, closed with a double-quote; the other time a co-worker left off the opening quote, but did have the closing quote.

No help from makedepend on which file has the faulty include: it just gives up on the whole directory. Thanks, makedepend. Notice that if you leave off both quotes, or have both as single-quotes, makedepend is kind enough to give you a meaningful message. Or, if you open with a double-quote, and forget the closing quote, it exits without an error! Though I'm not sure if it gets the dependencies right in that case.

Do yourself a favor, use gcc's dependency-generating scheme, and never use makedepend again.

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