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From: Eric Niebler (eric_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-05-04 13:24:36

Stefan Seefeld wrote:
> So, in the spirit of 'lessons learned', I'd like to invite readers
> to imagine how life would be if the boost development would use
> existing (i.e. external) tools, if possible. (Example: docbook, rst,
> etc., instead of qbk; make instead of bjam, etc.)

If I had nothing but free time, I'd investigate using CMake instead of,
or in addition to, Boost.Build. From the website:

> CMake generates native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of your choice. CMake is quite sophisticated: it is possible to support complex environments requiring system configuration, pre-processor generation, code generation, and template instantiation.

With CMake, we could deliver makefiles and vc project files, so people
can use their own build environments instead of having to learn ours. I
think this would remove a barrier to Boost's adoption. This article
describes the experience of the KDE team switching to CMake:

Caveat: I haven't actually used CMake. I'd need to investigate it.

FWIW, quickbook is merely a front end for existing external tools
(docbook, doxygen, fop). Nobody actually has to use quickbook -- they
could program directly to these lower level tools, and BBv2 supports
that. But the flakiness of these tools, and the length of the toolchain,
has been a constant source of trouble for us.

Eric Niebler
Boost Consulting

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