So, I've been trying, for the past couple weeks, to understand a mostly undocumented proprietary help system, to try to disentangle it from the GUI-based help and modify it to give us command line help in the newest release. This is not helped by the fact that none of R&D understands the help system, the designer didn't comment his code, and I don't have access to the Tcl-based portion (which the R&D folk don't fully understand, anyway--I understand about 80% of the system, which is about 75% more than anyone except CMG, who are about 20% behind me). (A funny moment happened yesterday when my co-worker Sylvia demanded to be given part of my current project to work on, since she was under-employed the last day or two. "Fine," I said cheerfully. "I'm trying to decypher the help system. How much about C coding and makefiles do you understand?" Ummmm... Needless to say, she didn't hop in and join me.)
Well, last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with a revelation. I had a workaround that didn't require running the makefile at all. A lot of arcane processes and files were thus bypassed. IF I understand how the Tcl portion works, sorta, (which came to me in the night), I don't think we need it. We can patch around the makefile strategy by using some splices in the build tree. I talked to CMG, and they think it could work. And the thing about it is it's so *simple.* It doesn't use the previous strategy at all. I'd been overthinking the whole thing. Rather than building on the past system, I needed to create a new one.
I suppose the test will be whether the next build, incorporating my new strategy, actually works. I'm crossing my fingers.