makeis a build tool that’s been around since the 1970s. It was originally designed for automating the building of C programs: installing dependencies, running tests, and compiling binaries.
These days, web projects involve many of the same steps: installing node_modules, running linters and tests, starting dev servers, and compiling files with esbuild or Rollup.
The default choice for automating these steps is often npm/yarn scripts: little shell commands written into your project’s
package.jsonfile. More complex projects sometimes evolve into using tools like Gulp/Grunt, or even full-blown Docker builds.
But I find
makeoften fills many of the same needs without as much fuss.
Source: Makefiles for Web Work, an article by Ross Zurowski.