Hello everyone,
My previous post explained how CMake could manage a simple project (containing only one definition and implementation file).  Now we can have a look at a complex project, containing a common shared library, examples and unit tests. In this case, instead of a dumb HelloWorld project, I’ve chosen the Itemviews-NG project, which is an experimental project hosted by the Qt Labs and currently uses qmake as build system. The project itself consists of the following:

  • A common shared library containing the base classes;
  • A collection of examples for each class from the library;
  • A collection of unit tests for each class from the library;

NOTE: Documentation won’t be created for now – Itemview-NG uses qdoc to generate documentation, which AFAIK isn’t well integrated with CMake yet. There will be another post about using doxygen with CMake, together with lcov coverage and gcov HTML output integrated.

As a starting point, the project itself contains various files which needs to be processed by the MOC. To simplify this process, CMake can use the automoc tool which automagically finds the required files to be preprocessed and includes them at the target build. Qt libraries and includes are also provided by the Qt4 cmake package (built-in). To use Qt4 plus automoc cmake packages, you can include the following code on the CMakeFiles.txt located at the project’s root directory:

# Qt4 package is mandatory
find_package(Qt4 REQUIRED)
# Automoc4 is also mandatory
find_package(Automoc4 REQUIRED)

Now let’s see how the CMakeFiles.txt from the src/ directory changes:

# Create a variable containing a list of all implementation files
file(GLOB itemviews-ng_SOURCES *.cpp)
# The same applies for headers which generates MOC files (excluding private implementation ones)
file(GLOB itemviews-ng HEADERS *[^_p].h)
# Now the magic happens: The function below is responsible for generating the MOC files)
automoc4_moc_headers(itemviews-ng ${itemviews-ng_HEADERS})
# Creates a target itemviews-ng which creates a shard library with the given sources
automoc4_add_library(itemviews-ng SHARED ${itemviews-ng_SOURCES})
# Tells the shared library to be linked against Qt ones
target_link_libraries(itemviews-ng ${QT_LIBRARIES})
# Installs the header files into the {build_dir}/include/itemviews-ng directory
install(FILES ${itemviews-ng_HEADERS} DESTINATION include/itemviews-ng)
# Installs the target file (libitemviews-ng.so) into the {build_dir}/lib directory
install(TARGETS itemviews-ng LIBRARY DESTINATION lib)

Now every example or test from the project which uses that library could use the target itemviews-ng as a link dependency. As each examples and tests are compiled in a similar way, we can use functions which eases the compilation process. Below is an example of those functions:

function(example example_NAME example_SOURCES example_HEADERS)
automoc4_moc_headers(${example_NAME}_example ${examples_HEADERS})
# The third argument (resource files) is optional:
set(example_RESOURCES ${ARGV3})
        ${example_SOURCES} {example_RESOURCES})
        ${example_SOURCES})    endif(example_RESOURCES)
    target_link_libraries(${example_NAME}_example itemviews-ng
function(test test_NAME test_SOURCES)
set(test_RESOURCES ${ARGV2})
        {test_SOURCES} ${test_RESOURCES})
        ${test_SOURCES})    endif(test_RESOURCES)
    target_link_libraries(${test_NAME}_test itemviews-ng
add_test(${test_NAME} ${test_NAME}_test)
add_dependencies(check ${test_NAME}_test)

The functions above can be inserted into a .cmake file (eg: InternalMacros.cmake) that goes into cmake/modules directory. To load it, put the following line inside CMakeLists.txt from the root directory:


Now you can create a CMakeLists.txt for each example like this:

set(mycustomexample_SOURCES mycustomexample.cpp main.cpp )
set(mycustomexample_HEADERS mycustomexample.h )
example(mycustomexample "${mycustomexample_SOURCES}" "${mycustomexample_HEADERS}")

The same applies for tests:

test(mycustomtest "${mycustomtest_SOURCES}")

I’ve made a branch cmake at my personal gitorious itemviews-ng clone. You can have a look at it to see how does the code explained above behaves.

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