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Subject: Re: [boost] CMake and Boost Build tests
From: Florent Castelli (florent.castelli_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-07-27 12:43:36

On 26/07/2017 20:49, Edward Diener via Boost wrote:
> Following John Maddock's appeal for practical solutions related to the
> move to CMake, I would like to know what the CMake equivalent is to
> the Boost Build unit test functionality.
> In other words what do I write for CMake in order to do a Boost Build
> compile, compile-fail, link, link-fail, run, and run-fail unit tests ?

In my own Boost-CMake project, I have implemented regular "RUN" in a way
that looks similar to the original Boost Build using functions:
Other commands should be easy enough to implement as well, but I haven't
had the interest in doing that in my project yet (which predates the SC

It is possible to do "compile" by creating a regular static library
target with that file and then invoking "cmake --build . --target
<compile test name>". Compile failures can be done similarly and check
they fail.
Link and Link-fail can be done the same way using actual binaries that
are built, but not run.

The difference is making sure you have a clear separation of building
Boost itself and running the tests. I found out that failures are pretty
common with those tests and many of them will fail to run without errors
on all supported compiler and platform, so isolation is quite important.

The problem is that some build tools will not support parallel
invocations (Ninja doesn't for example, see!topic/ninja-build/4VP7whvWSH8 ) and
thus running tests would be need to be linearized or moved to make,
which should support that scenario better.

> Does CMake have an equivalent to the Boost Build alias rule ? or the
> Boost Build project rule ?
> The great majority of the Boost libraries are header-only libraries
> where Boost Build is used to run the unit tests and, optionally, Boost
> Build is used to build the documentation using a quickbook, boostbook,
> doxygen toolset to generate html and pdf files. While I realize that
> building a Boost library, and making that built library available to
> end-users via CMake, has been the focus of most of the discussion so
> far regarding CMake and Boost, I am assuming the move to CMake also
> means that running unit tests and building docs where applicable must
> also be done through CMake. If I am wrong about this then I personally
> will be only too happy to continue using Boost Build to do these things.

CMake support header-only libraries using the INTERFACE keyword of
"add_library()". Those will propagate usage requirements like any other
library to their users. You can have you tests depend on those easily.

You can always have custom targets in each library to generate their
documentation in any way you like.
Building the documentation for the whole Boost project can be done by
building all of those targets.

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