Strange make [Error 255] (cygwin bug?)

Christopher Faylor
Sat Sep 27 16:11:00 GMT 2003

On Sat, Sep 27, 2003 at 04:01:34PM +0200, Jan Nieuwenhuizen wrote:
>Corinna Vinschen writes:
>>>How does it make it unnecessary?  Won't it still cause make to return
>>>an error as opposed to actually getting make working?
>>Yes, but it returns a correct, useful error message.  Obviously there
>>is a system imposed upper limit of command line length on all systems,
>>even if it's 256MB or whatever.  So relying on these overlong command
>>lines is highly non-portable anyway and at least Cygwin now returns the
>>correct message if it comes to that.
>Hmm, maybe you're right and we should fix the installation process, but
>this is the first problem we heard of.  If it's really that highly
>non-portable, then Cygwin is the least obscure UNIX system that doesn't
>grok this :-)

There have certainly been other "UNIXes" out there which had small
command line length limits.  Early AT&T System V releases come to mind.
Probably 32K is not a common limit anymore, though.

One of the reasons I went to the considerable work of implementing the
-X option was to bypass arbitrary limits like this and to bypass the
command line parsing that Windows enforces.  Binaries mounted with -X
pass arguments around in an argv list, just like UNIX.  So, while the
limits still exist, they should be much larger than what Windows uses.


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