On Makefiles oct 9, 2014

Earlier this semester, I sought and recruited the help of Charles Lehner to write a script that would let me compile all files with the .sp extension using HSPICE, and put the command line output into a file of the same name, but with an extension of *.lis. This was for a class on integrated circuit design I was taking (ECE 222) in the spring of 2014. I could not figure out how to do this with just a basic script, but he told me of a program on most *nix based systems called make, which was designed to do exactly this sort of stuff.

Here is a link to the makefile , which is run simply by entering the command make in a folder where there is a file called Makefile.

Similarly, you can enter other commands that can be run via make test . By default, the command make runs the first command found in the makefile, and all other commands must be referenced with their command name. So for example, the makefile linked above contains a command called clean, which deletes all of the files ending with the \*.lis extension. This is invoked by entering make clean.

One of the great things about this program is that before running on a file, it checks to see if there have any changes in the file (which is the only case in which it would be worth retesting them). In addition to HSPICE (netlist compiler), I imagine this would be incredibly useful when running any sort of code that is distributed over more than one file and requires compilation (java, c, etc).

Anyways, this was incredibly convenient, and made my time dealing with HSPICE slightly more bearable. Hats off to you Charlie!