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Subject: Re: [Boost-cmake] Analysis of the current CMake system
From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-01-15 12:36:05

on Thu Jan 15 2009, "Beman Dawes" <> wrote:

>> Have you tried helping a Boost newbie go through the process of
>> building and installing Boost lately? It's extremely painful, but we
>> don't see that pain because we've all gone through the initial hurdles
>> of getting bjam setup just right for our own configurations.
> I certainly see the pain - I'm the one who does the builds for a
> client of mine. It is a painful mess now, that's for sure.
> Any progress on pre-built binaries?

Boostpro Computing provides them for Windows. We've just done the extra
work necessary to make it fairly easy to push out a new release, and
we're expecting to post a 1.37 release in the next 24 hours.

>> That's the wrong thing to optimize: we need to optimize for the case
>> where a new user downloads Boost and wants to build/use it
>> immediately. Those users only care about a single compiler---the one
>> they use for their day-to-day work---and would greatly benefit from
>> being able to use their platform-specific tools (Visual Studio,
>> xCode, whatever).
> True, but they have to build several variants for that compiler, and
> on some platforms the 32 and 64 bit flavors are more like two separate
> compilers.

I think the number of actual end-users who need to build multiple
variants is relatively small. Even if a company is shipping multiple
versions of a product, end users are typically doing the
compile-edit-debug cycle with a single compiler and variant.

>> If we're going to go through the effort of introducing a new build
>> system, we need to focus on the user experience first and foremost.
> If you don't give the developers tools they can use, they won't switch
> to CMake.
> If you don't give the release managers tools they can use, they won't
> switch to CMake.
> And of course the users needs have to be met too.
> It is a three-legged stool. All three legs have to bear the weight, or
> it topples.

Good. Maybe you could be explicit about the needs that, in your view,
are brought by each group?

Dave Abrahams
BoostPro Computing

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