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

Migrating small projects

We define small projects as any project that contains only a few targets and which are usually all deployed together. Small projects are self-contained inside a single repository, and usually, you can get a relatively quick overview of them. These might be projects that build a single library or an executable with a few external dependencies. In these cases, migrating to CMake is often relatively trivial. For small projects, in the first iteration, putting everything inside a single file will probably be the easiest way to go for a relatively quick and early result. Rearranging the files and splitting up the CMakeLists.txt file into multiple parts to be used with add_subdirectory() is much easier if the project has already been built correctly.

A general approach for migrating to CMake could be the following:

  1. Create an empty CMakeLists.txt file inside the root of the projects.
  2. Identify the targets and associated files in the project, and create...