Makefiles for LaTeX documents
LaTeX documents are tricky beasts for building using
make on: the need to
instruct LaTeX to run several times for essentially different
reasons (for example, “get the table of contents stable”, “get the
labels stable”, “add the bibliography”, “add the index”) is
actually rather difficult to express in the “ordinary” sort of
dependency graph that one constructs for
latex-make package offers help with this task (far more
sophisticated techniques than in the script that builds these FAQs); it
looks good, but reports of its use (other than by its author) are scarce.
For a long time, the only
make-like package on CTAN
was latexmk, which is a Perl script that analyses your LaTeX
source for its dependencies, runs BibTeX or
as and when it notices that those programs' input (parts of the
aux file, or the
idx file, respectively) has changed, and so on.
Latexmk is a fine solution (and was used in generating printable
versions of these FAQs for some time); it has recently been upgraded and
has many bells and whistles that allow it to operate as if it were a poor
man's WYSIWYG system.
A recent strong contender is arara, written in Java.
It is (the documentation says) based on “rules” and “directives”;
its aim is to determine what to do from explicit instructions
in the document's source code, rather than secondary sources such
as log file analysis.
Arara is relatively new on CTAN, and
comes with recommendations from many of the great and good of
the LaTeX world.
Newer still is the Python script try, which has a similar
arara — it, too, reads instructions in the
Apparently along the same lines, is AutoLaTeX. The
of the distribution is actual a Unix-type man-page output, and shows
great attention to the details of the document production process.
The (Ruby) script
mk (also, apparently, known as
latex_maker) works well with another of the author's
scripts script called
vpp (View and Print
Windows users of the MiKTeX system may use that system's
Texify deals with basic
LaTeX features, including generating a bibliography and an index;
it makes no claim to deal with other things (such as multiple
bibliographies or indexes, or lists of terminology, etc.), which
AutoLaTeX can be configured to process.
A later contribution is the bundle latexmake, which
offers a set of
make rules that invoke
The curious may examine the rules employed to run the present FAQ through LaTeX: we don't present them as a complete solution, but some of the tricks employed are surely re-usable.
Source: Makefiles for LaTeX documents