ElectricAccelerator annotation files are a fantastic way to get a grip on your build behavior and performance, but what if your Build (capital B) spans more than one invocation of emake? Annotation gives you a good look inside any single invocation, but there’s no way to get an overview of the entire process. You can’t just catenate the annotation files from subsequent emake runs — the result won’t be well-formed XML, and the timing information for jobs in each subsection of the build will reflect time from the start of that subsection, not from the start of the logical build. Plus, you run the risk of having overlapping job identifiers in different subsections. What you need is a specialized version of cat that is annotation-aware. In this article I’ll introduce annocat, a simple Perl script I wrote for just this purpose, and I’ll explain how it works.
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