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Non Java projects Proposal

Revision as of 07:50, 20 July 2008 by (Talk | contribs) (Valid properties)

< To: Buckminster Project
< To: Helping_Out_(Buckminster)

Note this document is under construction --Guillaume CHATELET


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 to use Buckminster with non Java projects ?

Component materialization is much harder in non Java environments because :

  • there are no standard way to describe C/C++ projects so you have to write the CSpec file anyway ( contrary to Eclipse Java projects which provides a way to auto generate the CSpec )
  • 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. So to overcome this issue you have to write ant tasks.

Work flow currently used

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 )


This page is a proposal to extends Buckminster in order to bring users from the non Java world a better experience.

Executor Actor

This actor would add the possibility to execute programs directly from the CSpec without writing Ant Scripts.


  • Executes programs or shell scripts
  • Sets arguments
    • arguments can refer to prerequisites
  • Sets environment variables for the execution
    • environments variables values can refer to prerequisites


<cs:public name="build" actor="executor">
            <cs:property key="env" value="TIFF_LIB=${tiff.lib};TIFF_INCLUDE=${tiff.include};
            <cs:property key="shell" value="${compiler} -j2 debug"/>
            <cs:property key="VERSION" value="1.0.0"/>
            <cs:attribute component="mingw-5.1.4" name="compiler" alias="compiler" />
            <cs:attribute component="libtiff-3.6.1" name="include" alias="tiff.include" />
            <cs:attribute component="libtiff-3.6.1" name="lib" alias="tiff.lib" />

Valid properties

This syntax integrates into Buckminster's CSpec Actions.

  • env : a list of semi-colon separated environment variable
  • exec : the program to execute
  • shell : a batch file to execute

Note that you have to choose between exec or shell keyword.

All those properties can contain variables.

Those variables are set by surrounding properties or named path with ${}. See examples above.

Fetcher Actor

This actor is used to materialize resources into the component. I'm still not sure this behavior should be provided by an actor or through the materialization process. It seems the actor can be used at will so it's more flexible than the materialization but this point can be discussed.


  • fetch single or multiple files
  • log to https sites
  • unzip, untar, untargz, untarbz2 files
    • possibility to specify destination directory
    • possibility to filter the archive content
    • keep hierarchy or flatten folders


<cs:public name="buckminster.prebind" actor="fetcher">

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