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

High-level migration strategies

Before migrating a software project to CMake, first, it pays to answer a few questions about the existing project and define what the endpoint should look like. At a very high level of abstraction, usually, software projects define how the following things are handled:

  • How the individual parts of the software, that is, the libraries and executables, are compiled and how they are linked together
  • Which external dependencies are used, how they are found, and how they are used in the project
  • Which tests to build and how to run them
  • How the software is to be installed or packaged
  • Providing additional information such as license information, documentation, changelogs, and more

Some projects might only define a subset of the preceding points. But typically, these are the tasks that we, as developers, want to be handled in a project setup. Often, these tasks are defined in a structured way such as with Makefiles or IDE-specific...