When comparing Middleman vs GNU Make, the Slant community recommends Middleman for most people. In the question“What are the best static site generators?” Middleman is ranked 4th while GNU Make is ranked 18th. The most important reason people chose Middleman is:
[Minification and compression](http://middlemanapp.com/advanced/file-size-optimization/index.html) are as easy as setting a few configuration options, and [unique asset hashes](http://middlemanapp.com/advanced/improving-cacheability/) are available to allow you to invalidate the cache of files that change regularly.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Support for a variety of templating languages and preprocessors
Middleman supports lots of compiled languages, such as Less, Markdown, Textile, CoffeeScript, Stylus and more.
Pro Extensible and flexible
Middleman has a resources page full of official and community extensions.
Pro External pipeline management with Webpack
Replace your Gulp, Grunt, Bower configs
Pro Embraces Rails conventions
Middleman follows established conventions so if you know rails, you can easily pick up middleman.
Pro Easy deployment options
Pro Uses the full power of the UNIX shell
Make takes advantage of the powerful UNIX shell, using it at it's full potential. STDIN and STDOUT are especially useful because of their versatility.
Pro No need for wrapper modules
Other build tools need wrapper modules to do certain tasks. The biggest disadvantage of these wrapper modules is that they bind you to a version of that tool. With Make you don't have that problem, there's no need for wrappers and no tools to bind you to a version, you can use any version of Make that you want.
Pro Works with more than just node.js
Since it's written in C and can be found in all UNIX-based systems it can be used on platforms other than node.js.
Con Too much magic happens
For new users it is hard to understand what is going on and why.
Con A little more complicated than other static site generators
Middleman is a big piece of software, it's not simply a static blog generator. Because of all the functionality and flexibility it offers it can be a little more complex than other static site generators and a little harder to learn all of its bells and whistles.
Con Doesn't run on Windows by default
Make requires Cygwin/msys2/MinGW to run on Windows.