Boost logo

Boost-Build :

From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-05-16 13:35:55

on Tue May 15 2007, "John Maddock" <> wrote:

> Irrespective of what happens with the CMake vs BBv2 debate, it's apparent
> that there is still plenty of support for bbv2: indeed, I would echo
> comments that it's a pleasure to use, provided you don't need to dig in and
> write new rules yourself :-)
> So, can we improve things to the point where 99% of the remaining issues are
> dealt with? I think so, the things that come to mind are:
> 1) Consistent command line options (as Vladimir has already brought up): use
> "feature=xyz" or "--feature=xyz" consistently throughout. The first of
> these looks to be the more commonly used within BBv2 at present, so I'd vote
> for that, and keep "-" and "--" options for controlling how bjam itself
> behaves (as in the -d and -a options).

I think people will be confused anyway as posted elsewhere. They
don't know which identifiers are features and which are just options.

> 2) Better docs. Yes, I know it's been said before, but we really must get
> the existing toolsets and their options documented. This need not take too
> long if someone would step up and volunteer to do it.

...and who would that be? That's part of the problem. Another
problem is that the toolsets are totally inconsistent in how they

> 5) More BBv2 developers :-) I actually think we do tools rather well
> - both quickbook and BBv2 are so very nearly where they need to be,
> but just need that final push that only more developers (and a wider
> audience) can bring. Part of the problem here is that Boost
> attracts folks interested in C++ libraries, and who don't
> necessarily want to spend their time hacking Jamfiles or whatever.
> I'm not sure how solve this, unless maybe these tools can acquire a
> life of their own outside of Boost as well as within it.

Yeah, that's important. But when even the people originally supposed
to be co-developers on BBv2 have been worn out trying to understand
the project's code, how are we going to get 3 or 4 more people to
devote enough time to actually succeed where others have failed, and
then make big contributions?

That's the bottom line, IMO. Who is going to step up and devote
enough time to make something that can work as well as CMake? In
CMake it's one line to build a graphical binary installer. We simply
don't have enough time and resources to reach that level of
sophistication. Further, the CMake model has some advantages in that
it is not trying to do configuration work every time you build. Yes,
we could do that in BBv2, too, but personally I just don't see the
point in trying to outrun a project that actually has a bunch of
knowledgeable developers and company funding behind it.

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting
Don't Miss BoostCon 2007! ==>

Boost-Build list run by bdawes at, david.abrahams at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at