[webkit-dev] Build system complexity

Kevin Ollivier kevino at theolliviers.com
Thu Aug 12 08:27:39 PDT 2010

Hi Jeremy,

On Aug 12, 2010, at 7:37 AM, Jeremy Orlow wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 7:18 AM, David Kilzer <ddkilzer at webkit.org> wrote:
> On Aug 12, 2010, at 3:54 AM, Dumitru Daniliuc <dumi at chromium.org> wrote:
> > i completely agree with jeremy. is it possible to at least drop the cryptic hashcodes/timestamps? without them, the .xcodeproj files should at least be editable by hand.
> Doesn't gyp already generate Xcode projects for Chrome?  I think the issue is that gyp can't generate replacement project files for Apple's Mac port or other build systems yet.  That was my take-away from the last discussion--that gyp needed to be enhanced so that all build systems could be generated, making addition or removal of source files a trivial task.
> Chrome has been using GYP for some time and it's pretty stable.  I suspect that anyone trying to port the Mac port's xcode project to it will run into some bugs and/or need to build some additional features into it, but it is quite stable.  And the GYP guys are very friendly people though, so I bet they'd be happy to help with any such problems.  It's also worth noting that GYP was designed from the start to allow a project to move over to it slowly (you can have custom projects depend on GYP projects and vice versa).
> But moving to GYP is definitely not the only way to solve this issue--and quite possibly not the best way.  I suspect that there are also many smaller steps that could be taken that'd have a big impact.  For example, coming up with ways to generate sane/informative error messages for when someone doesn't export some symbol/header file properly would awesome and doesn't require changing the entire build system.  Or creating some script that can add files to the xcode project.

One project I've been meaning to hack on once I take care of some higher priority work I'm doing is to update WebKitTools/Scripts/update-sources-list.py to pull sources from GYP instead of the code in there to pull sources from (now defunct) Bakefile build system. The idea here is that we can make changes to the source list in one place (say, the GYP files), then run this script and it will update the file lists for other ports that use text-based lists, like GTK, Qt and any ports using CMake. This I think would make updating a lot more straightforward and reduce the need for manually making the same change in 6 different build systems. Adding XCode and MSVC support certainly would be possible too, but if ports using those files are still interested in doing a switch to GYP in the near future, it may not make much sense to bother with it.

I've also been working on https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=27551, which would allow us to stop using export symbol definition files and instead have the export info in the headers instead, so that all ports can use them rather than having each port define its own export symbols file. That's another thing that I think could reduce a lot of redundant maintenance.  



> J
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