Bug 211970 - make(1) should mention that it documents bmake, not pmake
Summary: make(1) should mention that it documents bmake, not pmake
Status: New
Alias: None
Product: Documentation
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Manual Pages (show other bugs)
Version: Latest
Hardware: Any Any
: --- Affects Many People
Assignee: Simon J. Gerraty
Depends on:
Reported: 2016-08-18 17:17 UTC by Dennis Jensen
Modified: 2020-10-27 21:02 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:


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Description Dennis Jensen 2016-08-18 17:17:20 UTC
URL:  https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=make&apropos=0&sektion=0&manpath=FreeBSD+10.3-RELEASE+and+Ports&arch=default&format=html

On the above page is the FreeBSD Man Page documentation for Make(1) for (FreeBSD 10.3-Release and Ports) however it is unclear what version of Make it is describing.  It does have a section where it states as follows:

This manual page is intended as a reference document only.  For a more
thorough description of Make and makefiles, please refer to PMake — A

This would then imply that the version of Make the page is referencing is PMake but due to some major discrepancies between the PMake Tutorial and the Man Page it is fairly obvious that this is not the case.

Still in trying to research this and find out exactly what version of Make this page reflects I find out that FreeBSD may have (and I say may have because this is all non-authoritative scuttlebutt gotten off of IRC #freebsd and #freenas) changed the version of PMake to BMake and then to FMake — so there is no easy way to determine what version the Man Page is referring to.  I realize that (if the versioning path I had described to me is correct) that BMake came from PMake and FMake came from BMake and that both FMake and BMake are fully backwards compatible but that still does not help solidify what version of Make is represented within the Man Page documentation

Regardless if PMake (as it seems) is not the version of Make on the Man Page then the above excerpt is in error because it is not a thorough description of Make at all — it might be a thorough description of a "previous version" of Make but it is by no means a description of the Make reflected on the Man Page.

It would be great if a denotation on the FreeBSD Man Page: Make(1) was made as to what actual version of Make is being referenced upon the Man Page and the reference to PMake — A Tutorial would be clarified and perhaps even stressed that it is a "previous version" and not the current version reflected on the Man Page.
Comment 1 Dennis Jensen 2016-08-23 16:45:46 UTC
Okay after much digging it appears that FreeBSD is using BMake instead of PMake and thus the reference should be changed or eliminated.  Below is a proposed change

This manual page is intended only as a reference document for bmake.  For more information you can check out either NetBSD from whence bmake comes from or crufty.net.  However there is no official in depth documentation on bmake at this time.

The above would be much more helpful to developers and the like who might actually be interested in delving deeper into the workings of the FreeBSD Make(1) aka bmake
Comment 2 Simon J. Gerraty freebsd_committer 2020-10-27 21:02:49 UTC
Bmake is a derrivative of pmake, just like FreeBSDs old make was.
The pmake tutorial is years out of date, yet still provides useful info.