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

Creating custom build types for quality tools

So far, we have only talked about build types such as Debug, Release, RelWithDebInfo, and MinSizeRel, which are provided by CMake by default. These build types can be extended with custom build types that pass global flags to all targets. For the code quality tools that rely on certain compiler flags, providing a custom build type can simplify CMakeLists.txt considerably, especially for large projects. Creating a custom build type is also much preferred to directly interfere with the global CMAKE_<LANG>_FLAGS.

Do Not Override CMAKE_<LANG>_FLAGS

Setting the global compiler option is preferred over the generic CMAKE_<LANG>_FLAGS in your CMakeLists.txt. These flags are intended to be set outside the project, either by passing them over the command line or by supplying them with a toolchain file. Modifying them inside a project has a high chance of interfering with the cases where they are set from the outside.