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Re: [Chicken-users] understanding the CMake build

From: Thomas Chust
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] understanding the CMake build
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2006 14:37:18 +0000 (GMT)

On Fri, 8 Sep 2006, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:

[...] I wonder, why would anyone else want to understand the CMake build? Unless they wanted to extend it, I can't think of a reason. [...] CMake online documentation in general is poor. The mailing list is great, you can get all your questions rapidly answered there, but documentation is definitely a serious shortcoming.


to continue the slightly off-topic rant about build systems: Well, I for example would be interested in understanding the CMake build simply to learn CMake as the idea behind CMake is good and I'd love to use it for my own software projects -- but only if it worked.

Not only is the CMake documentation scarce, it also frequently seems to be wrong and in the past four weeks I have not managed, even after modifications in the CMakeLists.txt files, to get two large CMake powered projects, namely CHICKEN and VTK, to build using CMake 2.4.3 on either

   - MacOS X using gcc-3.3
   - MacOS X using gcc-4.0
   - Windows XP Professional using MinGW gcc-3.2 and MSYS
   - Windows XP Professional using MinGW gcc-3.2 without MSYS
   - Windows XP Professional using Open Watcom 1.5

Everytime at least the linker flags are terribly messed up in some creative ways I could never devise when writing a Makefile by hand ;-) I'm especially amazed how CMake manages to screw up Java compiler and archiver flags as the JDK tools are really easy to use and have the same command line options on every platform.

Plus I only managed to get one of my own software libraries to build using CMake with so many tweaks and tricks in the CMakeLists.txt file that I felt the urge to promptly throw away this new build system when I saw that the one CMake build control file was by far larger than the hand written Makefiles for all the platforms I need to support together!

[...] Not that people are better off with Autotools. It's better documented, but the whole toolchain will drive you nuts. [...]

I've not completely given up on CMake, yet, but I'm starting to get slightly annoyed and to wonder which platforms this supposedly cross platform make tool is working on at all...

Not that the GNU autotools would be any easier to use than CMake, but at least every autotools configured build system I have met so far worked out of the box on at least one of the platforms mentioned above...


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