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


In this chapter, you were provided with a brief overview of CMake. First, you learned how to install and run a simple build. Then, you learned about the two-stage build process of CMake before touching on the most important language features for writing CMake files.

By now, you should be able to build the examples provided in this book's GitHub repository: You learned about the core features of the CMake language such as variables, targets, and policies. We briefly covered functions and macros, as well as conditional statements and loops for flow control. As you continue reading this book, you will use what you have learned so far to discover further good practices and techniques to move from simple one-target projects to complex software projects that keep being maintainable through a good CMake setup.

In the next chapter, we will learn how some of the most common tasks in CMake can be performed and how CMake works together with various IDEs.