catkin, simpler
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wjwwood Merge pull request #27 from flaviofontana/patch-1
add dynamic reconfigure info to the readme
Latest commit 0e62848 Jun 25, 2015

README.md

catkin simple

This catkin package is designed to make the CMakeLists.txt of other catkin packages simpler.

CMakeLists.txt Example

Here is an example of a package foo which depends on other catkin packages:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8.3)
project(foo)

find_package(catkin_simple REQUIRED)

catkin_simple()

cs_add_library(my_lib src/my_lib.cpp)

cs_add_executable(my_exec src/main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(my_exec my_lib)

cs_install()

cs_install_scripts(scripts/my_script.py)

cs_export()

Lets break this down, line by line.

First is the standard CMake header:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8.3)
project(foo)

Which defines the minimum CMake version and the name of this project.

Next comes the find_package of catkin_simple:

find_package(catkin_simple REQUIRED)

This is just like find_package for any other catkin package. This command is required.

catkin_simple()

Then you invoke catkin_simple:

catkin_simple()

This macro call gathers your build_depend's from the package.xml of your package, then does a find_package(...) on each of them.

By default, find_package(...) is called with the QUIET option and without the REQUIRED option. That way, if any of the build_depend's are not catkin packages then they are simply ignored. This means that if you depend on a caktin package which is not on your system, catkin_simple will not warn you about this, because there is no way to know if it is a missing catkin package or a system dependency. If this is not the desired behaviour, calling catkin_simple(ALL_DEPS_REQUIRED) will call find_package(...) on each dependency with the REQUIRED option.

Packages which are successfully found and identified to be catkin packages are added to a list of "catkin build dependencies" for your package. This list of build dependencies is passed to find_package(catkin REQUIRED COMPONENTS ...). This command is required.

Next, this macro adds the local include folder and any catkin include directories to the include path with CMake's include_directories(...) macro, but the local include folder is only added if it exists.

Finally, this macro will discover and build any ROS messages, services, and actions which reside in the msg, srv, action action folders, respectively. The automatic discovery and building of messages/services is only done if your package build_depend's on message_generation, and message generation will complain if your package does not run_depend on message_runtime.

This macro discovers and builds dynamic_reconfigure config files from the cfg folder. The automatic discovery only works if your package build_depend's on dynamic_reconfigure, and dynamic reconfigure will complain if your package does not run_depend on dynamic_reconfigure.

cs_add_library()

Next we create a library:

cs_add_library(my_lib src/my_lib.cpp)

This call does a few things, first it calls directly through to the normal CMake macro add_library, then it calls target_link_libraries(my_lib ${catkin_LIBRARIES}) to link your new library against any catkin libraries you have build depended on in your package.xml. Finally it does some bookkeeping so that your library target can be implicitly used later.

cs_add_executable()

Next we add a new executable:

cs_add_executable(my_exec src/main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(my_exec my_lib)

This works just like cs_add_library, but it calls CMake's add_executable(...) instead.

Notice that here we have to explicitly call target_link_libraries for linking against our library, this is because there is no way to enforce order of target creation. The executable is still automatically linked against the catkin libraries.

cs_install()

Next we install everything:

cs_install()

cs_install_scripts(scripts/my_script.py)

The first macro call creates an installation rule for any libraries and executables you created with cs_ prefixed commands. That call can also take zero to many additional targets you wish to install which were created without the cs_ prefixed commands. This command is optional.

The second macro call creates an installation rule for the given scripts, installing them to ${prefix}/lib/${pkg_name}/. This command is optional.

cs_export()

Finally, we export everything:

cs_export()

This command calls catkin_package(...) under the hood, extending that call with any libraries created and catkin_depends found automatically with catkin_simple. You can also pass in your own arguments to catkin_package(...) through this command. This command is required.

Known Limitations

There are several known assumptions and incorrect behaviors in catkin_simple which are a result of the trade-off of correctness for convenience.

  • There is no warning when a catkin package is not found during find_package.
  • There is over linking, as all libraries of all dependencies are linked against all targets indiscriminately.
  • Assumes that the include folder is meant to be in the include path.
  • If new .msg or .srv files are added, they will not be detected until you force CMake to run again
  • All targets have a target dependency on any downstream message generation, which results in sub-optimal parallelization of targets, as there are unnecessary dependencies created.