A File Construction Tool (Think 'make')
Cook is a tool for constructing files. It is given a set of files to
create and recipes of how to create them. In any nontrivial program,
there are prerequisites to perform the actions necessary to create any
file, such as include files. The cook program provides a mechanism to
When a program is being developed or maintained, the programmer
typically changes one file of several that comprise the program. Cook
examines the last-modified times of the files to see when the
prerequisites of a file have changed, implying that the file needs to
be recreated as it is logically out of date.
Cook also provides a facility for implicit recipes, allowing users to
specify how to form a file with a given suffix from a file with a
different suffix. For example, to create filename.o from filename.c.
* Cook is a replacement for the traditional make(1) tool. However,
it is necessary to convert make files into cookbooks using the
make2cook utility included in the distribution.
* Cook has a simple but powerful string-based description language
with many built-in functions. This allows sophisticated filename
specification and manipulation without loss of readability or
* Cook is able to use fingerprints to supplement file modification
times. This allows build optimization without contorted rules.
* Cook is able to build your project with multiple parallel threads,
with support for rules that must be single threaded. It is
possible to distribute parallel builds over your LAN, allowing
you to turn your network into a virtual parallel build engine.
If you are putting together a source-code distribution and planning to
write a make file, consider writing a cookbook instead. Although Cook
takes a day or two to learn, it is much more powerful and a bit more
intuitive than the traditional make(1) tool.