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From: Robert Ramey (ramey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2021-05-31 20:19:40

On 5/31/21 12:12 PM, Andrey Semashev via Boost wrote:

> The CMake ability to build and test is a relatively recent addition.
> Originally, it really was a tool to generate a project for your favorite
> build system from a common description and nothing more. It really was
> *not* a build system, but a *meta build system*, if you like. So, the
> question you would ask was how to use CMake to generate your IDE
> project, and the tool selection was mostly deferred to the IDE, where
> possible.

This is the way I use it.

Of course, it didn't work so well in practice because the
> generated projects and Makefiles are so very different. Heck, even to
> just configure build configuration type (debug/release/etc.) one had to
> write two different branches in CMakeLists.txt - one for Makefile-style
> build systems and the other for VS-style projects.

I leave things like debug/release unspecified and just switch them in
the IDE.

> Recently, as CMake takes on more and more functionality of a build
> system, providing portable ways of interaction with the underlying build
> system (and therefore removing the need of interacting with it
> directly), providing more portable ways of configuring the build, and as
> more and more IDEs integrating with CMake using its API, the generator
> stuff is getting mostly legacy. I think, it is currently half way there,
> so the kludges that stem from the underlying build system are still
> visible to the user, but much of the work can be done through CMake
> interfaces exclusively.

Actually, from my standpoint, the IDE generation is the only actually
useful feature of CMake and the only reason I added it to my projects a
few years ago. If they stop supporting this, I'll just drop it.

Robert Ramey

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