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18.1 Interfacing to etags

Automake will generate rules to generate TAGS files for use with GNU Emacs under some circumstances.

If any C, C++ or Fortran 77 source code or headers are present, then tags and TAGS rules will be generated for the directory. All files listed using the _SOURCES, _HEADERS, and _LISP primaries will be used to generate tags. Note that generated source files that are not distributed must be declared in variables like nodist_noinst_HEADERS or nodist_prog_SOURCES or they will be ignored.

A tags rule will be output at the topmost directory of a multi-directory package. When run from this topmost directory, ‘make tags’ will generate a TAGS file that includes by reference all TAGS files from subdirectories.

The tags rule will also be generated if the variable ETAGS_ARGS is defined. This variable is intended for use in directories that contain taggable source that etags does not understand. The user can use the ETAGSFLAGS to pass additional flags to etags; AM_ETAGSFLAGS is also available for use in

Here is how Automake generates tags for its source, and for nodes in its Texinfo file:

ETAGS_ARGS = --lang=none \
 --regex='/^@node[ \t]+\([^,]+\)/\1/' automake.texi

If you add file names to ETAGS_ARGS, you will probably also want to define TAGS_DEPENDENCIES. The contents of this variable are added directly to the dependencies for the tags rule.

Automake also generates a ctags rule that can be used to build vi-style tags files. The variable CTAGS is the name of the program to invoke (by default ctags); CTAGSFLAGS can be used by the user to pass additional flags, and AM_CTAGSFLAGS can be used by the

Automake will also generate an ID rule that will run mkid on the source. This is only supported on a directory-by-directory basis.

Similarly, the cscope rule will create a list of all the source files in the tree and run cscope to build an inverted index database. The variable CSCOPE is the name of the program to invoke (by default cscope); CSCOPEFLAGS and CSCOPE_ARGS can be used by the user to pass additional flags and file names respectively, while AM_CSCOPEFLAGS can be used by the Note that, currently, the Automake-provided cscope support, when used in a VPATH build, might not work well with non-GNU make implementations (especially with make implementations performing VPATH rewrites in The Autoconf Manual).

Finally, Automake also emits rules to support the GNU Global Tags program. The GTAGS rule runs Global Tags and puts the result in the top build directory. The variable GTAGS_ARGS holds arguments that are passed to gtags.

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