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From: Doug Gregor (doug.gregor_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-07-02 02:27:52

Hi Miguel,

On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 1:12 AM, Miguel A. Figueroa-Villanueva
<miguelf_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> I would like to know what the current status of the boost cmake build
> is. I guess that what I would like to know is where is this going?
> I've tried to read the mailing list archives as much as possible, but
> couldn't find a clear answer to the following:
> - Is there a chance that eventually people will realize how great the
> cmake/ctest/cpack/cdash combination is as to drop the other build
> system? Or is this highly unlikely? That is, are they meant to
> co-exist?

We're betting that people will realize that this build system is far
better than the current Boost.Build, and offers a better way forward
for Boost. Long-term, I don't believe that maintaining two build
systems in Boost is desirable or feasible, and it is my goal to
supplant Boost.Build version 2 completely within the next year. That
said, I offer no guarantees: the Boost community could utterly reject
what we're doing. (I see that as unlikely).

> - Is the effort to modularize the libraries going to make it to the
> trunk or is this going to remain a boost-cmake only thing?

Well, doing it on the trunk either means that BBv2 also has to support
modularization or that we have to drop Boost.Build. I'm not going to
waste time doing the former, and we have to replace BBv2 before we can
do the latter. Troy's actually working on a better way: by describing
the headers for each library within the CMake description of that
library, we can create CMake targets that automatically modularize a
library (or, with a little more work, maybe even an entire Boost
tree!). That way, we can co-exist with BBv2 but get the benefits of
modularization as we go.

> - Is there a CDash dashboard actively running? It seems that the
> has been down for
> the last 4 days at least...

Troy's been working on an updated system that isn't based on CDash. I
haven't been keeping up with it as well as I should, but I expect
we'll see more cool stuff from him later on.

> I would like to try and help in the effort to modularize the libraries
> (although I'm no boost expert... I do have some experience with the
> cmake tool set) and to set up a dashboard.


> But I would like to know
> what kind of support is this effort receiving from other boost
> developers before I commit to this.

Well, I can't give any guarantees. Troy and I are doing the major
development work. David Abrahams and Beman Dawes are encouraging us
and making sure that we cover some of the usability issues. Frankly, I
think it will come down to the best technology winning, and we'll do
the best we can to make sure that the CMake-based build system is the
superior choice. I'm pretty sure we'll get there.

Our short-term goal is to get everything building and testing properly
for the upcoming Boost 1.36.0, where we hope to have some kind of
CMake-based release for people to try. Additionally, we'll be building
installers with CMake/CPack for both Windows and Mac, so that most
Boost users won't even have to use a build system. (I've been spending
most of my time on these installers, while Troy's been working on
modularizing libraries and the testing system).

  - Doug

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