[webkit-dev] OK to flatten WTF's header directory?

Darin Adler darin at apple.com
Thu Feb 3 15:31:25 PST 2022

Long ago, I originally created the forwarding headers to bridge the gap between framework-style includes that those of us at Apple wanted to do, where headers are flattened and you write #include <FrameworkName/HeaderName.h>, and Unix-style installed libraries, where things are not flattened. I wanted us to be able to write include statements in WebKit in the traditional non-Apple-framework style so they would work on those other platforms, and the forwarding headers were originally just for the Apple platforms, making those includes work with the framework structure provided automatically by the Apple framework build system.

Those original forwarding headers were not copies of the headers, they were simply files “in the right place” with include statements in them. I’m not sure at what point along the way we started making copies of headers, and we may be solving other problems with that.

This proposal, to flatten the WTF headers, seems to be a step in of the opposite direction, making the non-Apple platforms do something akin to framework-style including. Not sure I understand the pros and cons are of that.

I am currently suffering when working on WebKit development because of the copies of headers made by the build system. I can’t count the number of times I’ve edited a WTF header and then later realized I had edited the copy, not the original. I would very much like a solution that resolved that problem. I use Xcode features, and it seems the copies are what Xcode thinks are the “real” headers.

— Dar

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