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The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 40 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular granted patent brief we find that Apple has invented a tool for developers where there's a common "Makefile" that could be used to create software for any platform.


According to Apple, "Many software programs are created using what is known as the make utility or some other equivalent utility. In general, each project for each platform may require its own makefile. For example, each project may have its own compiler, linker, libraries, file paths, options and dependencies specified in a makefile. In addition, there is generally one makefile for each platform the project may run on. This requires a lot of duplication and extra effort to build a project for other platforms. It often becomes difficult to track and maintain such a large number of make files. A small change in one makefile would require changing all of the makefiles for the same project on different platforms.


Apple's invention can provide a more streamlined and efficient approach to using makefiles and can allow developers to use a fewer versions of a makefile for building their program. In some embodiments, the same makefile may be used to build programs across all targeted platforms without needing to modify it in any way. The makefile remains compatible with the original project. This can alleviate the need for developers to create and maintain a makefile for every platform they wish to build the program for, or to parameterize their makefiles and have large conditional statements to cover all the different platforms."


Apple credits Genevieve Lee, Anders Bertelrud as the inventors of granted patent 8,863,077 which was originally filed in Q2 2013 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.


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