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From: Reece Dunn (msclrhd_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-05-26 09:34:06

Robert Mathews wrote:
>I'm glad to see this thread starting, I definitely think this is a good
>"David Abrahams" <dave_at_[hidden]> wrote in message
> > Don't try to parse Jamfiles. It will be fragile at best and a
> > disaster at worst. Think of Jamfile contents like C++ source code;
> > you want a real C++ compiler in order to process that and make any
> > sense of it. For Jamfiles you want to do any understanding within
> > Boost.Build.
>As far as JAM interacting with the installer program, why don't you have
>boost.JAM build the installation program? That way this installer isn't a
>red-haired bastard stepchild, but just another target in the
>environment. is certainly powerful enough!

This is a good idea and something I would provide in my GUI/helper

>Basically, I'd add a target after "install" that could grab the source and
>built libraries and feed those files into the installer script, creating a
>single installer output file (say, "boost_1.32.msi"). Then the boost
>maintainers could publish just that file on the web.

The problem is that the library files generated come to around 520Mb per
toolset. Therefore, packaging the *.lib files becomes unrealistic
(especially with the countless variations of gcc: is gcc-3.3 version 3.3.0,
3.3.1, ...?)

The installer should:
* extract the current Boost distribution files;
* setup any environment variables;
* build bjam;
* build the libraries for the selected compilers/versions, noting where to
install to, whether Python is supported, etc.;
* optionally configure your favorite IDE to find the requested headers and
library files.

>Well .. the commercial installers take care of a lot of common issues that
>occur, adding a layer of reliability and tested code for the common tasks
>installing files, editing paths, registry, and displaying a familar user
>interface. Are you really sure you'd want to stray off the beaten path

Therefore using a commercial installer would be a good thing. The question
is does that installer support executing command lines (to build the Boost
files) and can you optionally process that to provide a nice UI/progress for
the average user who is going to be daunted by the masses of output

The alternative would be to provide Unix and Windows scripts to simplify the
build/install process to something like:

install-boost c:/boost-1.32 vc-7_1

Reece Haston Dunn
Software Engineer, Sophos

Sophos - protecting businesses against viruses and spam


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