A Makefile help target

The longer I’m around in this industry, the more I rely on _Makefile_s to remember all the steps I need to take. If something else doesn’t put the steps in order, I’m not likely to remember everything myself. This website even has a [/Makefile] (it is all in a public GitHub repo, so have at it), and it has a feature that I’ve come to love.

François Zaninotto wrote about Self-documented Makefile. He didn’t really document the Makefile so much as give it a target summary like you’d get from rake:

$ make help
error               show the error from the last build
help                show a list of targets
publish             Remake stuff and send it to GitHub
rebuild             tell GitHub to rebuild the site
setup               setup the tools (try to install what you need)
show_vars           show some variables, useful for debugging
spell               spellcheck the markdown files in _posts/
status              show the GitHub Pages build status
tag                 create the tag files

Usually I know I have a target for something but I forget the name. Although I usually have the Makefile open, I have an easier time with make help. That is, when I remember to use it.