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C/C Actors

Note this document is under construction --Gch.mikrosimage.fr 12:40, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

Purpose

While trying to use Buckminster for both my Java and C++ projects, I realized that Java projects within Eclipse were pretty straightforward but C/C++ projects were much more difficult to manage.

Why is it so hard ?

Component materialization is much harder in non Java environments because :

  • java projects dependencies are automatically described by the Eclipse plugin framework (no need to create CSpecs)
    • Contrary to the C/C++ projects for which you have to write them.
  • compiling, testing, your code requires to execute programs from outside ( shell scripts, compiler, unit tests and so forth ).
  • some of the resources you need to materialize are libraries that are only available as zipped url resources.
    • which implies you have to download and unzip them : Buckminster cannot do that for the moment despites its exactly what you expect it to do.

Work flow

The toolchain I created to manage C/C++ projects dependencies is as follows :

  • Create Spec components to describe dependencies
  • Specify actions like build / clean / rebuild
    • those actions have prerequisites pointing to other components (eg: the path to the libTiff include folder)
  • Write ant scripts called from buckminster to
    • retrieve libraries from urls or retrieve files from archives pointed by url
    • execute commands with specific environment variables (eg. calling the compiler with paths to libraries)
  • Create the script to compile the code ( Makefile or Boost Jamfile or SCons file )


Proposed actors

This page is a proposal to extends Buckminster's actor in order to bring users from the non Java world a better experience in executing actions like

  • downloading resources from the web
  • executing shell scripts