Book Image

CMake Best Practices

By : Dominik Berner, Mustafa Kemal Gilor
5 (2)
Book Image

CMake Best Practices

5 (2)
By: Dominik Berner, Mustafa Kemal Gilor

Overview of this book

CMake is a powerful tool used to perform a wide variety of tasks, so finding a good starting point for learning CMake is difficult. This book cuts to the core and covers the most common tasks that can be accomplished with CMake without taking an academic approach. While the CMake documentation is comprehensive, it is often hard to find good examples of how things fit together, especially since there are lots of dirty hacks and obsolete solutions available on the internet. This book focuses on helping you to tie things together and create clean and maintainable projects with CMake. You'll not only get to grips with the basics but also work through real-world examples of structuring large and complex maintainable projects and creating builds that run in any programming environment. You'll understand the steps to integrate and automate various tools for improving the overall software quality, such as testing frameworks, fuzzers, and automatic generation of documentation. And since writing code is only half of the work, the book also guides you in creating installers and packaging and distributing your software. All this is tailored to modern development workflows that make heavy use of CI/CD infrastructure. By the end of this CMake book, you'll be able to set up and maintain complex software projects using CMake in the best way possible.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Practical CMake – Getting Your Hands Dirty with CMake
Part 3: Mastering the Details

Using external programs with CMake

CMake has a pretty broad functionality so that it can cover many tasks when building software. However, there are situations when developers will need to do something that is not covered. Common examples include running special tools that do some pre-or postprocessing of files for a target, using source code generators that produce input for the compiler, and compressing and archiving artifacts that are not handled with CPack. The list of such special tasks that must be accomplished during a build step is probably almost endless. CMake supports three ways of executing custom tasks:

  • By defining a target that executes a command with add_custom_target
  • By attaching a custom command to an existing target by using add_custom_command or by making a target depend on a file that's been generated by a custom command
  • By using the execute_process function, which executes a command during the configuration step

Whenever possible, external...