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Thinking in C++
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A makefile may contain macros (note that these are completely different from C/C++ preprocessor macros). Macros allow convenient string replacement. The makefiles in this book use a macro to invoke the C++ compiler. For example,

CPP = mycompiler
hello.exe: hello.cpp
        $(CPP) hello.cpp

The = is used to identify CPP as a macro, and the $ and parentheses expand the macro. In this case, the expansion means that the macro call $(CPP) will be replaced with the string mycompiler. With the macro above, if you want to change to a different compiler called cpp, you just change the macro to:

CPP = cpp

You can also add compiler flags, etc., to the macro, or use separate macros to add compiler flags.

Thinking in C++
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire