Subject: Re: [boost] CMake Announcement from Boost Steering Committee
From: Klemens Morgenstern (klemens.morgenstern_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-19 16:08:05
Am 18.07.2017 um 15:12 schrieb Jon Kalb via Boost:
> The libraries produced by the Boost community have had a greater impact on the way that the C++ community writes code than any other library implementation. The focus of the Boost community will always be on the libraries, but it is undeniable that we are dependent on and often limited by the infrastructure of our trade. Years ago, the move to Git was contentious; yet, it was required to improve development. In a similar vein our build system has become an impediment for many developers and users, existing and prospective.
> Therefore, we, the Steering Committee, announce to the Boost community our desire and intent to move Boostâs build system to CMake for users and developers alike. We are soliciting comments and proposals from the community to guide the process and the goals. Our desire is that the community can come to consensus by the end of the calendar year with a vision of supporting users and developers.
> We understand that the actual process of achieving the end goal will be long, time consuming, and not without its share of conflict. We also recognize that the Boost community is comprised of bright and passionate individuals that are eager to get involved and help get work done.
> The members of the Steering Committee have been encouraged by the discussions and activity surrounding CMake on the mailing lists over the years and know that many people have voiced visions. We hope that each of you rejoins the discussion to support this initiative and contributes to the common goal of improving Boostâs integration into the broader C++ ecosystem.
Preface: I'm on team boost.build.
We had long discussions about the whole CMake vs boost.build thing and I
will not reiterate those. I do think that boost.build is superior, but I
might be wrong about that.
I am however quite certain that the style of just announcing that this
will happen is low. First of all, the discussion were not a stalemate,
but rather open. Last year, there was an effort put in to explore the
possibilities of boost.build v3; in the same way it would just be work
to setup a cmake build for boost. As a matter of fact Paul Fultz II is
working on that (https://github.com/pfultz2/boost-cmake)
So this discussion was far from over and the proof that CMake would be
superiour is lacking. So announcing the intention now by the steering
comittee (instead of announcing the intention to build an example with
Cmake) is premature; we have not only years of experience with
boost.build but also the people who developed it. Well had, anyway.
So prematurely declaring that boost will be going CMake without any
technical proof is just bad. And given the amount of CMake proponents we
have on this list: why isn't there a full boost CMake script yet? Why
was there more effort put into maintaining boost.build than CMake? Seems
to me, that the work put in should be of more importance, than the
preferences stated on the mailing lists.
Secondly there has never been a discussion whether another build system
(or a fork thereof) might be better that CMake and boost.build (e.g.
blaze, qbs, meson, scons). So how can the intention be to use CMake?
Thirdly, the "it's like moving to git" is just an awful comparison.
Boost.build was specifically build for boost and the superiority of git
was way more clear than for CMake. For one: git can handle svn
repositories. If CMake can build Jam-Files I'll be the first one to
Fourthly I don't think the comittee does understand how much work this
will be for the maintainers of certain libraries, such as boost.python.
For header only libraries with trivial tests, I don't think it'll be
much work, but I don't see the steering comittee or those crying for
CMake doing the implementation for the more compilicated libraries. This
decision will put constraints on many maintainers and some of them will
see this as an artificial requirement. Now we can handle that if we get
paid; but for projects we do for free, some of us will consider that too
frustrating and jump ship. And since the first response was Rene, I
think this could really hurt boost.
Considering that your job is to do what's best for boost, you might want
to reevaluate the way you operate. Losing Rene is surely not what is
best for boost.
The right way to do it, would've have been to setup a task force to
evaluate the use of CMake. Announcing like that makes me wonder how
profound the reasons for your decision actually are.
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