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Subject: Re: [Boost-build] The future of B2?
From: Chambers, Matthew (matt.chambers42_at_[hidden])
Date: 2016-09-27 13:53:18

First, thanks to all you fine folks who keep B2 going. It's not perfect, but I've never used a better build system for building
cross-platform C++.

On 9/27/2016 12:26 PM, Vladimir Prus wrote:
> Hi Rene,
> On 27-Sep-16 3:32 AM, Rene Rivera wrote:
>> Recently I've been doing some cmake, yes I said cmake, for work. And
>> this recent experience, and a quick survey of other current build
>> systems, has convinced me that there's still nothing like b2. And by
>> that I mean nothing that solves the same set of problems with a good set
>> of abstractions. Although there are one or two that are moving in our
>> direction. But alas, b2 is not widely used. And I can name many reasons
>> as to why that might be. But I'd rather discuss where I want b2 to be in
>> the future. And hopefully get us moving in a direction that will make b2
>> widely used.
>> Let me start with something rather simple sounding.. What I want to be
>> able to do with b2 in my day to day work & play-work (note that this is
>> a royal "I" as I'm projecting what others have expressed over the years):
>> * I want to be able to launch my IDE of choice and be able to build,
>> debug, analyze, deploy, etc with b2 as my build system.. And to do that
>> without the need to look at a command line.
>> * I want to be able to use my IDE of choice to configure all aspects of
>> my b2 based project with zero or minimal reading of documentation.. And
>> especially zero reading of b2 code!
> These two goals are what I consider most important personally.
I agree that these are priorities but I like Rene's other suggestions too. But isn't the "IDE of choice" part going to make this an
open-ended feature? In closed form we could probably specify some major IDEs to support and add new ones as they are contributed or they
become more prevalent.

>> * I want all that to perform as expediently as possible when I hit the
>> build (or whatever button) in my IDE.
>> By no means is that the end of my possible wish list, but I'll stop
>> there for the moment. But now for the really important part.. Do you
>> agree that the above are features we should strive, and plan for? Do you
>> have features that you think we should strive for in addition to, or
>> instead of the above?
>> And the really hard question.. What of the current b2 implementation,
>> design, ecosystem, is getting in the way of reaching the above wishes?
>> And if you dare.. What should we change to move forward?
> I am obviously biased; but I think the Jam language is holding us back.
> Absolutely nobody know it, and anything not natively supported by the language requires code in C, with awkward bridging.
Jam is obscure, but I've yet to see a better build system language. Are you proposing to get rid of all Jam code or just replace it in the
backend with python?


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