[webkit-dev] CMake as a build system?

Nico Weber thakis at chromium.org
Fri Apr 16 18:57:09 PDT 2010

This is from an earlier thread on this issue on webkit-dev:

We also considered CMake, and had it demonstrably working for some of
our smaller projects as well.  Unfortunately, transitioning to CMake
would have required moving everything over at once, without allowing
for some existing projects to be maintained "by hand" during a
transition period.  CMake-generated files contain absolute paths, so a
.tar or .zip of the source tree could not be primed with CMake output,
complicating the "bootstrapping" process for new contributors.  A less
significant factor was that CMake introduced an additional binary
build prerequisite, which would have had to have been installed
everywhere.  Python is already a prerequisite for Chromium, so a
Python tool was easier to deploy.


(I'm not involved with gyp at all, I just remembered that old thread)

On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 6:45 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On Apr 16, 2010, at 5:50 PM, Bill Hoffman wrote:
>> On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 6:38 PM, Peter Kasting <pkasting at google.com>
>> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 3:35 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
>>>> I'm curious if the Chromium folks who created Gyp had any specific
>>>> reason
>>>> that they ruled out CMake as an option. (I have heard that it was
>>>> considered
>>>> and rejected.)
>> I belive I can answer that.  During my talk at google, I met with with
>> Mark Mentovai and talked to him about Gyp and CMake.  The main thing
>> that he was trying to avoid was the requirement that CMake be
>> installed for the build.  That is true, CMake does have to be
>> installed.  However, CMake is installed on more an more systems.   The
>> cmake.org site has about 2K downloads per day, and most linux distros
>> include CMake.   With KDE using CMake, it has become pretty easy to
>> get.   Apple is also using CMake for the LLVM project, so it should be
>> installed and accepted at Apple.  I worked with Doug Gregor of the
>> LLVM team to help him convince the Apple testing folks to allow for
>> CMake to be installed.
> FWIW, I don't have CMake installed, and I have everything a typical Apple
> developer would have and then some. I'm running SnowLeopard and the latest
> Xcode. CMake is also not installed by default on Windows and I am not sure
> if it comes with the cygwin distribution we use.
> When you say "installed", does that mean it *has* to be in some system
> location? Could it be "installed" somewhere in the WebKit build tree? Our
> scripts download certain needed tools and libraries by default, so at least
> from the WebKit POV this is not necessarily a showstopper.
> Also: how hard is the dependency on being "installed"? Is this a solvable
> problem if it turns out to be a showstopper for some folks?
> And finally, I'd still like to hear from the Chromium folks whether there
> were any other issues. This one seems fairly minor.
> Regards,
> Maciej
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