A typical development cycle when working on an Ada program consists of the following steps:
The third step can be tricky, because not only do the modified files
have to be compiled, but any files depending on these files must also be
recompiled. The dependency rules in Ada can be quite complex, especially
in the presence of overloading,
use clauses, generics and inlined
gnatmake automatically takes care of the third and fourth steps of this process. It determines which sources need to be compiled, compiles them, and binds and links the resulting object files.
Unlike some other Ada make programs, the dependencies are always accurately recomputed from the new sources. The source based approach of the GNAT compilation model makes this possible. This means that if changes to the source program cause corresponding changes in dependencies, they will always be tracked exactly correctly by gnatmake.