[Python-Dev] Evaluated cmake as an autoconf replacement

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Tue Apr 7 03:35:22 CEST 2009

Ondrej Certik wrote:
> Hi,
> On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM, Jeffrey Yasskin <jyasskin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I've heard some good things about cmake — LLVM, googletest, and Boost
>> are all looking at switching to it — so I wanted to see if we could
>> simplify our autoconf+makefile system by using it. The biggest wins I
>> see from going to cmake are:
>>  1. It can autogenerate the Visual Studio project files instead of
>> needing them to be maintained separately
>>  2. It lets you write functions and modules without understanding
>> autoconf's mix of shell and M4.
>>  3. Its generated Makefiles track header dependencies accurately so we
>> might be able to add private headers efficiently.
> I am switching to cmake with all my python projects, as it is rock
> solid, supports building in parallel (if I have some C++ and Cython
> extensions), and the configure part works well.
> The only disadvantage that I can see is that one has to learn a new
> syntax, which is not Python. But on the other hand, at least it forces
> one to really just use cmake to write build scripts in a standard way,
> while scons and other Python solutions imho encourage to write full
> Python programs, which imho is a disadvantage for the build system, as
> then every build system is nonstandard.

Isn't it strange how nobody every complained about the significance of
whitespace in makefiles: only the fact that leading tabs were required
rather than just-any-old whitespace.

I guess some people just home in on things to complain about.

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                 http://www.holdenweb.com/
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