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Adapt your library

Transforming your library in a full functional biicode block can be straightforward or require some work. The bigger or "heavier" a library is, the higher time it takes to adapt it.

We assume you've read :ref:`Custom build configuration<cmakelists_txt>` section and have understood how biicode builds your code.

Concepts to understand

  • Place your library's source code in a biicode block.
  • Biicode analyzes your code and builds a dependency graph with how each file connects to the others. These files are appended to BII_LIB_SRC variable in your CMakeLists.txt file.
  • When you #include a header (ex: file.h) from a remote block, biicode only downloads the files that depend on "file.h" (recursively) and builds a library with the files needed. The dependency library built is linked to your targets automatically.
  • When you're the one uploading a "reusable" library, it's really important that the dependency graph for that lib is built correctly.
  • A quick way to be sure that your library is fully reusable, is publishing with DEV tag and then depend on it from another project making an example. The example can be a main including a header from your own library. You can check a lot of examples reusing libsS in examples user.

Key facts

As biicode may build the libraries with just a few files from the whole library (biicode only downloads and builds the needed files), you shouldn't assume in your CMakeLists.txt that all your library files will be present.

> Example: Make sure an exe target exists before executing TARGET_LINK_LIBRARIES upon it.

> Example: Adding my_file.cpp to your library explicitly isn't recommended as you don't know if biicode has downloaded this file.

Biicode needs a library in BII_LIB_TARGET variable to make it reusable, as a "plug".

It builds ${BII_LIB_TARGET} for each block with the source code files in BII_LIB_SRC variable (list).

Without a previous CMakeLists.txt

If your current library doesn't have a CMakeLists.txt biicode creates it when you execute bii configure or bii build.

1. Look for unresolved dependencies with bii deps

  • If some of your header files (*.h) are unresolved, biicode has not been able to detect them. You can solve this by filling :ref:`[paths]<paths_conf>` section in biicode.conf with the folders containing the headers to let biicode find them.

    You only need to specify your paths when your project has non-file-relative #include (s).

    For example:

        # Local directories to look for headers in your block
  • If there are references to external headers, look for the library you need in biicode. You can use the search engine in and search for the file typing file:my_include.h

  • If there are no unresolved dependencies or it seems your unresolved dependencies are system dependencies, try to compile it (point 2).

2. Execute bii build

  • There are compilation errors:

    • Check if some compile definition is needed. You can use TARGET_COMPILE_DEFINITIONS(${BII_BLOCK_TARGET} PUBLIC "MY_DEFINITION=1") in your CMakeLists after ADD_BII_TARGETS().
    • Review the BII_LIB_SRC variable in CMakeLists.txt (and BII_exe_name_SRC) and look for missing files.

    If you detect a file is missing, add it to :ref:`[dependencies]<dependencies_conf>` section in biicode.conf.

  • If you receive linker errors, search in the code the missing symbols.

    • If they are in you source code, maybe biicode is not finding some implementation and the dependency graph wasn't built correctly. You can use :ref:`bii deps --files<bii_deps_command>` to inspect how the code is connected. Use :ref:`[dependencies]<dependencies_conf>` section in biicode.conf to specify the missing source file.
    • Can't find them in your sources? Try to google them. You may need to link a system library. You can use TARGET_LINK_LIBRARIES(${BII_LIB_TARGET} PUBLIC pthread) in your CMakeLists.txt after ADD_BII_TARGETS().

3. Test the libary's reusability

At this point biicode knows how to build your code. But you are not done yet. You should check that your library can be included and works fine.

  • bii publish to publish a DEV version of your code.

  • Open a new terminal and create a new biicode project with an example including your library. You can check a lot of reuse examples in examples user. Create a new folder and execute bii init -l and bii new --hello cpp. Replace main.cpp code with your example code.

  • Run bii configure to create biicode.conf and CMakeLists.txt files.

  • Require your original block library in :ref:`[requirements]<requirements_conf>` section of biicode.conf

  • Execute bii deps to ensure your requirement is wired right.

  • Execute bii build to build the example

    • If compilation fails because any files are missing, check bii/deps/ folder to review the files biicode downloaded. If you notice some file are missing you probably need to add them in :ref:`[dependencies]<dependencies_conf>` section in biicode.conf. Fix the library and bii publish again. Then execute bii build in your example folder again, this downloads the updated library automatically. Check again the files downloaded.
    • If compilation fails in cause of an error in your library's CMakeLists.txt check that you are not presuming that (key fact 1) all files are present. Fix CMakeLists.txt or wire a dependency (if needed) in :ref:`[dependencies]<dependencies_conf>` section in biicode.conf.
  • You can build more examples including more headers from your library to ensure it works well.

  • Congrats! You have a full functional library in biicode! Execute bii publish --tag STABLE to freeze an stable version.

Got any doubts? Ask in our forum or write us.

With a previous CMakeLists.txt

Option 1: Let biicode do its job in an isolated file

If you already have a CMakeLists.txt file there's no need to replace it, just adapt it like this:

# Your regular project configuration here

Now create a file named biicode.cmake an add the line ADD_BII_TARGETS(). Then read :ref:`without a previous CMakeLists.txt<without-previous-cmakelists-txt>` section knowing that biicode.cmake is now the file where you will write the code needed.

Option 2: Build your own target library and link them to BII_LIB_TARGET

Sometimes, when adapting big and complex libraries that already have a CMakeLists.txt building its own library, the best approach is to link the resulting library to ${BII_LIB_TARGET}

  • As you want to use your own library targets and these take for granted that all files are always present, it's violating key fact nº1. The way to proceed is wiring all your library files together in :ref:`[dependencies]<dependencies_conf>` section in biicode.conf.

    EXAMPLE: [dependencies] section from curl block.

            # Nothing depend on tests, so do not include tests if not needed
            src/* - tests/*
            lib/* - tests/*
            include/* - tests/*
            # Lib doesn't depend on src
            lib/* - src/*
            # Everything depends on libcurl
            src/* + lib/* docs/MANUAL docs/curl.1 src/
            include/* + lib/*
            tests/*.h + src/* lib/* include/* tests/*
            # Src module goes together
            src/*.h + src/*.c
  • Don't presume that targets are always present (key fact nº1):

    EXAMPLE: tests folder is not present (because tests not depend on any header of your library), so its not downloaded.

       # Your code for generate examples targets
  • If your CMakeLists.txt uses find_package directive and you want to replace these dependencies and depend on biicode blocks:

    • Let biicode handle requirements:

      EXAMPLE: This library links OpenSSL library of the system. But we want to link openssl from biicode:

      if(NOT BIICODE) # Biicode uses OpenSSL as a dep, do not find it in system
              set(USE_OPENSSL ON)
              # ...
              # ...
        set(USE_OPENSSL ON)

There's a complete example of Option 2 you can check here at curl block and libcurl CMakeLists.txt.

Option 2 is not "ideal" because is downloading, compiling and linking the whole library and some files may be unnecessary. But if your library files are heavily connected and/or there are so many files this is your best option.

Option 3: Adapt your CMakeLists.txt filtering files

There is a third option, a mix of the two previous options:

  • Filter the files with the set of files detected by biicode ${BII_LIB_SRC}, not forcing all source code to interconnect.

    key fact 1 said not to presume all files exist in our CMakeLists.txt, but we know which files has downloaded looking the BII_LIB_SRC variable, so you can always compose your library with the intersection of your list of sources and BII_LIB_SRC


    MACRO(INTERSECTION var_name list1 list2)
      # Store the intersection between the two given lists in var_name.
      SET(intersect_tmp "")
      FOREACH(l ${list1})
        IF("${list2}" MATCHES "(^|;)${l}(;|$)")
          SET(intersect_tmp ${intersect_tmp} ${l})
        ENDIF("${list2}" MATCHES "(^|;)${l}(;|$)")
      SET(${var_name} ${intersect_tmp})
    # Biicode detects that file2.cpp is not a dependency of the block that includes this one.
    # So in BII_LIB_SRC there are only file1.cpp and file3.cpp
    # If we try to add_library using file2.cpp will fail, so lets filter it.
    set(my_library_files file1.cpp file2.cpp file3.cpp)
      INTERSECTION(filtered_files "${my_library_files}" "${BII_LIB_SRC}")
      set(filtered_files ${my_library_files})
    add_library(my_library ${filtered_files})

    You can include tools.cmake from biicode/cmake block and reuse the macro INTERSECTION. Check :ref:`Publish, share and reuse CMake scripts<reuse_cmake>` section for more information.

  • Keep the way you build the library:

    Following key fact 2, you can build your library and :ref:`link to ${BII_LIB_TARGET}<link_to_bii_lib_target>`, or even change the value of BII_LIB_TARGET variable to match your library name. The only thing important is that the variable BII_LIB_TARGET contains a cmake library.

    SET(BII_LIB_TARGET my_library)

As you know we're available at our forum for questions and answers. You can also write us.