What Does Make Mean?

Make is a tool used in the software development process to build a program, along with its libraries, in its final ".exe" extension form. The make tool performs an interpretation process of make files to determine the final code of the destination .exe file.


Topological sorting is used to define the point at which make should start. Make is the most commonly used method among program building systems and is typically used in Unix-based program building.

Techopedia Explains Make

Make has many more applications than just .exe program building from source files. Some of these applications include:

  • Make is used to transform dependency files to target results via multiple arbitrary commands.
  • Changes made to an image file can be detected through make.
  • Make can be used to convert files to different file formats via an automatic system that copies the final file to different emails targeting multiple users through a custom content management system.

The advantages of using make include that it works on building up a file dependency list, which allows it to be used in a general manner for many file conversion applications. Make’s disadvantages include the fact that if a certain dependency was forgotten, it will not get discovered immediately but rather will appear later. Make allows more potential for human error.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…