Am 04.10.2016 um 00:56 schrieb Rene Rivera:
On Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 4:31 PM, Klemens Morgenstern
I do agree. I use boost.build for my own projects, because the
concepts are great and it's afaik the only build system that can do
all that, i.e. meta-targets etc. Waht I would love to see is a b3, a
solid build system-engine entirely plugin-based (be it in C++,
Python or Chaiscript) completely written in C++ (we have
boost.python, boost.dll and hopefully boost.process soon) which then
is not limited to C/C++, but may be extended to support something
like java via plugin.
As has been now mentioned a few times.. I think there's agreement in
that the current b2 implementation is curtailing further progress, in
most respects IMO. But one thing we will have to wrestle with is
"external" dependencies. One of the virtues I see of the current
implementation is its independence. Hence we will have to think hard
about what libraries we could use. Because I don't fancy bringing in
large portions of Boost is a good idea for the plain reason that the
circular dependency makes testing much harder. But that a a topic for
further discussion :-)
I wouldn't consider that a real problem. If we take boost libraries at point X in time and build bjam3 from it, and then move boost to version Y with bjam3, we always would have the prior bjam3 version to test with. Not nice, but possible.
The only thing it would complicate is bootstraping, but I think that would be manageable.
I think if enough boost people are interested in that and are
willing to spend there time on this, this could succeed. I've got a
few ideas for that, so if enough people are interested (especially
those maintaining b2) we could maybe come up with a solid concept.
Is there any interest in pursuing that? I really don't think CMake
is the solution for this problem.
I think there is certainly interest, as is demonstrated by the responses
here. Which was the main point of this thread. Which now means in
deciding how to move forward. And to fast forward to you other
response.. I suspect we can join forces to accelerate this effort.
Ok, then I'll start sharing my thoughts, though they are not completely worked out yet. If they were, I'd already be working on the system.
I hope it's not too long, but I really think we could build a great system here, that goes beyond C++.
So what I would love to see is a fast build system purely using C++ and maybe Python (or ChaiScript) for Plugins. The idea would be to work in the requirement and meta-targets in at the lowest level. I'm not sure how to do that exactly, but something like that maybe:
I would also handle the toolset differently then it now is; currently it's handled as a feature (which it is) but the default doesn't work.
For example, if I added a java rule, and wrote this
jar foo : bar.java ;
boost.build would try to build that with toolset gcc (which is my default). The way I'd love to see that handled is that the engine looks for a matching toolset, which has a generator java->jar and would thus either select mono or jdk.
(3) Better handling of by-products, compounds & sources
Let's say I build a binary with the coverage information with gcc:
exe foo : bar.cpp : <cxxflags>--coverage <linkflags>--coverage ;
and now I want to access the gcda file. I should be able to do just reference the target like this ('::' because unlike '.' it's invalid in a filename):
alias cov-data : foo::coverage ;
The same would be true I declared a library without defining whether it's static of shared, by writing this:
lib foo : bar.cpp ;
alias shared_foo : foo::shared_lib ;
As for sources, if I could obtain them from the file would be awesome, i.e. the direct targets:
alias objects : foo::sources ; #gives me all the .o files.
(4) More generic targets
What I had to do is put the current git-hash into my software, so I ran a script. I built a script for that, but I would like to be able to add something like that to the build system.
So the thing I'd do (if I had a git-module) is to create a string-target (i.e. the hash) which has the date of the last commit (instead of the date of the last file change):
git-hash my_hash ;
my-generator-script version.cpp : my_hash ;
Another more generic rule would be abstract-targets like runnable. Now if I have a binary, it would obviously be runnable, but things like *.py or *.jar are - in general - also. So if I would have rules for that, this would be awesome, and the generated target should be more generic. I.e.:
run foo : foo.py : <stdin>bar.txt <stdout>null <stderr>pipe ;
foo::stderr ; #gives me the error log
foo::exit_code ; # gives the return code.
That could then easily be integrated into a few test rules.
(5) Post-build scanners
Afaik boost.build provides scanners for things like include files etc. to generate dependencies. I'd like to have post-build scanners, which could be used to check additional generated files. E.g. when building java you have additional .class files for each nested class. It would be nice if they could be also collected, so I'd have them not only as dependency but as part of the target, e.g. when I'd want to build a jar.
This would also require to declare "incomplete targets", i.e. a target where I don't know exactly what is the result.
(7) Target output
That could probably be the easiest concept: the build-system should be able to output all targets with their config to the console, for example as json. This would allow an IDE to see all targets and provide the corresponding settings.
II. Syntax & Semantics
(1) Seperate declaration & extensions
For simplicity reasons I would seperate the target declarations and possible functions (or currently rules) in seperate files. This would simplify the whole module system and keep the files clean. You'd basically have a language like make for the declarations and whatever we choose for extensions.
(3) Declaration Syntax
I would propose a clearer syntax:
lib foo : bar.cpp : <requirement>42 : <default>stauff : <usage>thingy ;
lib foo : bar.cpp : require requirement=42 with-default default=stuff for usage=thingy with other-thingy=other-stuff ;
By with = definition, require = requirement, for = usage-requirement, with-default = default
This feature syntax would be rather clear, and would also allow things like `define+=OTHER_DEFINE` or boolean values to just be passed.
Maybe we could also add automatic type deduction:
libfoo.a : bar.cpp ;