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From: Dean Michael Berris (dmberris_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-05-18 17:43:45

Hi Martin!

On 5/18/07, Martin Wille <mw8329_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Dean Michael Berris wrote:

[snpped my biased argument]

> You can't say cross-platform builds like that aren't possible with
> gmake. It takes time to develop the harness, but that's true with any
> build system.

I wasn't implying that gmake builds are impossible. I was saying more
to the effect that it's too hard to do that, especially if your
platform is Windows -- because even gmake's "native" Windows port
isn't the best, and sometimes cygwin and mingw aren't viable
alternatives. That's why Boost.Build is very attractive for people
like me, who just want to maintain one Jamfile which pretty much
produces the desired output as much as possible in as much platforms
as possible.

Library writers love this because Boost.Build does it for the library
writers "for free" without the required additional mental cartwheels
that gmake requires developers to perform (like you've said, the
harness takes time to develop -- time which is something no self
respecting developer ever has ;) ). Though we'd like to take advantage
of Boost.Build more, the problem like it's always been brought out and
widely accepted is the documentation.

Then there's also the issue of easy compartmentalization of the build
instructions for your project. Something very hard to achieve with

> Note, I'm not suggesting a switch to make-based systems here.
> Boost.Build seems to be pretty well developed and a switch back to
> square one of a different basic build system would not earn us anything.

I guess the whole discussion with CMake has to do with the prospect of
"not having to worry about writing Makefiles, VCS IDE project files,
XCode project files, and <insert other build systems supported by
CMake here>.

So as far as CMake is concerned, I believe the argument is that it
should be able to configure the build process for your build system of
choice -- as long as CMake supports it.

I for one do accept that this prospect is attractive, but assert that
people like me still want to use Boost.Build, and would accept CMake
if it really fits the bill for Boost but still aim to make Boost.Build
the build system I would still want to use for my projects.

FWIW. :-)

> However, I
> think anything that can be done with bjam could be done with gmake, too.

I don't know about anything... Reading Jamfiles would be something
gmake might not like to do. ;-)

Dean Michael C. Berris
mikhailberis AT gmail DOT com
+63 928 7291459

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