In this https://github.com/kubernetes/helm/blob/master/Makefile there are targets with a dot in front of them. What is this convention for ?

.PHONY: all
all: build

.PHONY: build
    GOBIN=$(BINDIR) $(GO) install $(GOFLAGS) -tags '$(TAGS)' -ldflags '$(LDFLAGS)' k8s.io/helm/cmd/...

The special rule .PHONY is used to specify that the target is not a file. Common uses are clean and all. This way it won't conflict if you have files named clean or all.

Here is a link to a section on this topic in the GNU make manual

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