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SYNOPSIS

This project is meant to provide some GNU Makefiles to take the boilerplate away from defining a project build. For instance:

include /usr/include/mrbuild/Makefile.common.header

PROJECT_NAME := foo
ABI_VERSION  := 0
TAIL_VERSION := 1

# Build all .c sources into a library: libfoo. If all library sources are in
# src/, you can put $(wildcard src/*.c() here. Raw wildcards are not allowed in
# LIB_SOURCES
LIB_SOURCES := $(wildcard *.c)

# build executable foo_tst from foo_tst.cc; it will be linked with libfoo
# build executable foo_run from foo_run.cc; it will be linked with libfoo
#
# These should be separate from LIB_SOURCES. If all non-library sources are in
# bin/, you can put $(wildcard bin/*.c) here. Raw wildcards are not allowed in
# BIN_SOURCES
BIN_SOURCES := foo_tst.c foo_run.c

# Any extra flags. The build system always builds with debugging information and
# (if no other -O flag is given) with optimization
CCXXFLAGS += -Wno-unused-parameter

# Extra libraries to link with. The library is linked with this. The executables
# are linked with this AND with the library
LDLIBS += -lbar

# distribute (in a 'make install' and thus into the package) all headers except
# those that match *tst*
DIST_INCLUDE        := *.h
DIST_INCLUDE_EXCEPT := *tst*

# distribute (in a 'make install' and thus into the package) all executables
# built from BIN_SOURCES (foo_tst, foo_run) except *_tst, so only foo_run is
# distributed
DIST_BIN_EXCEPT     := *_tst

include /usr/include/mrbuild/Makefile.common.footer

DESCRIPTION

When defining the build rules for a project, there’s often much boilerplate involved, the provenance of which is often lost to time. And there’s usually much cargo-culting, and every project effectively forks the build scripts. The results aren’t good, and mrbuild attempts to organize this. mrbuild provides a consistent set of Makefiles and project tree layout conventions. These make it easy to get friendly and consistent builds.

A project that uses mrbuild is defined by a single Makefile. This is done by defining some variables and include-ing Makefile.common.header, Makefile.common.footer from mrbuild. Those files produce the rules that make uses to do its job. Note that unlike the CMake-based system, this is a one-step process: we don’t create Makefiles and then use them to build stuff; we just build the stuff.

Each project builds a library (a shared object) and optionally, some executables. mrbuild knows how to build commonly-used things: QT interfaces, python extensions, etc. Intentionally, there’s no mechanism to “find” dependency libraries: you should know where your dependencies live, and you can tell Make yourself the normal way: with CFLAGS and LDFLAGS.

mrbuild will set up the RPATH tags to make the current directory findable. Thus executables can be run without installing, and they will link with the locally-built library. At install-time these RPATH tags will be stripped-away, so no extra steps are required when building packages.

The project build definition file is a plain Makefile, so no special syntax and rules need to be mentioned here. And because it’s a plain Makefile, we can define whatever arbitrary rules we want for anything not specifically covered by mrbuild.

Furthermore, again since this is a plain Makefile, we can pass it external options in the environment. For instance, if we want to build without optimizations, simply invoke

CCXXFLAGS=-O0 make

The build system will pick up the new build option, and is smart enough to replace the default of -O3 with the given -O0.

Note that this is subtly different from

make CCXXFLAGS=-O0

This latter invocation is not supported, and we throw an error if this is encountered.

API

A complete list of the variables mrbuild knows about:

Variables that MUST be defined

  • PROJECT_NAME

The name of the project. Ends up in the SONAME. Libraries may or may not be called lib..., but the lib will be prepended to the SONAME if it’s missing.

  • ABI_VERSION

Required for libraries. An integer indicating the version of the ABI. Usually the same as the major version number of the project. Together with TAIL_VERSION, these define the default

VERSION ?= $(ABI_VERSION).$(TAIL_VERSION)

which can be used in the per-project Makefile

  • TAIL_VERSION

Required for libraries. An arbitrary string. Together with ABI_VERSION, these define the default

VERSION ?= $(ABI_VERSION).$(TAIL_VERSION)

which can be used in the per-project Makefile

  • VERSION

Required for non-libraries, optional for libraries. This is a version string that is always passed as a #define to the compiler, to all documentation generators (gengetopt and such) and so on. The project Makefile can set this to whatever they like. If omitted, it defaults to

VERSION ?= $(ABI_VERSION).$(TAIL_VERSION)

If VERSION and ABI_VERSION and TAIL_VERSION are all defined, the library SONAME comes from the ABI and TAIL versions, but the documentation will have the VERSION string.

Build variables that MAY be defined

  • LIB_SOURCES

Sources to build into a library. If omitted, no library will be built. Wildcards are not allowed

  • BIN_SOURCES

Sources to build into executables. By default each executable will be built from the library and each source in BIN_SOURCES. So if we have a.c and b.c in BIN_SOURCES, then two executables will be built: a and b, each linking in the library. Wildcards are not allowed

  • CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, CCXXFLAGS, CPPFLAGS

Flags for C, C++, both and the preprocessor respectively. By default we pass -O3 and (for C++) -std=c++0x. If we specify any other optimization level or standard, the defaults will be omitted. This is commonly used to build without optimizations:

CCXXFLAGS=-O0 make

In the Makefile these should be touched with += to not override any values passed in the environment.

  • LDFLAGS

Similar to the above. Contains the linker flags.

  • LDLIBS

Similar to the above. Contains the libraries we link with. By default this applies to all objects, libraries and executables we build. This is often overkill; if we want to apply some linker flag just to a particular object, use a per-target variable:

BIN_SOURCES = a.c
a: LDLIBS += -lbleh

Installation variables that MAY be defined

The DIST_... variables are only looked-at if we make install, which in our world happens only when we’re building a package. Generally make install copies the files indicated by the DIST_... variables to DESTDIR.

  • DIST_BIN

Executables that we distribute. May include wildcards. If omitted, defaults to all the executables that $(BIN_SOURCES) produce

  • DIST_INCLUDE

Headers that we distribute. May include wildcards. If omitted, no headers are distributed.

  • DIST_BIN_EXCEPT, DIST_INCLUDE_EXCEPT

Simple distribution blacklists. May include wildcards. Anything that is matched by DIST_XXX_EXCEPT is not distributed, even if it appears in DIST_XXX. For fancier logic, use the ..._FINDSPEC variables described below

  • DIST_DOC

Documentation we ship. May include wildcards.

  • DIST_MAN

Man-pages we ship. May include wildcards.

  • DIST_DATA

Arbitrary data we ship. May include wildcards.

  • DIST_PERL_MODULES

Perl modules

  • DIST_PY2_MODULES

Python2 modules

  • DIST_PY3_MODULES

Python3 modules

  • DIST_BIN_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC, DIST_INCLUDE_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC, DIST_DOC_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC, DIST_MAN_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC, DIST_DATA_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC

After we install a set of files to the DESTDIR, we may want to delete some subset of them. This is similar to the ..._EXCEPT blacklists above, but accomplished with the find utility, so we have more flexibility. For instance, to install all the manpages except onces for tests, do this:

DIST_MAN                 := doxygen-doc/man/man3
DIST_MAN_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC := -type f -name '*_test.3'

To install only the manpage for the frobnicator utility (delete all others) we do this:

DIST_MAN                 := doxygen-doc/man/man3
DIST_MAN_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC := -type f \! \( -name 'frobnicator.3' \)
  • EXTRA_CLEAN

Additional targets to clean out during a make clean

QT GUIs

mrbuild has rules to handle QT moc and .ui stuff. An executable that uses QT can be defined like this:

BIN_SOURCES := gui.cc
MOC_OBJECTS := $(patsubst %.hh,moc_%.o,$(shell grep -l Q_OBJECT *.hh))
gui: $(MOC_OBJECTS) # gui.o will be linked in automatically

Manpages

mrbuild knows how to install manpages, but not how to build them (this is usually project-specific). In my usage I do this, which I find quite useful.

Python extensions

mrbuild knows how to build python extension modules directly: without distutils or any such silliness. The result is that all the building is handled by make, and everything works the way it’s supposed to. This is described in detail here.

More complex example

An annotated example showing some more complex usage appears in build_examples/GNU_Make/Makefile, and is copied here

# -*- Makefile -*-

PYTHON_VERSION_FOR_EXTENSIONS := 3
include /usr/include/mrbuild/Makefile.common.header

# This is a sample Makefile using the Makefile.common infrastructure. A quick
# way to bootstrap a new project is to copy this file to the root directory of
# the project and then to modify each variable to fit that particular project.

# The name of the project. By convention, libraries should be called lib... but
# this isn't required
PROJECT_NAME := libfrobnicator

# The version of the library. We treat the major version as the version of the
# ABI/API. So every time we change the ABI or an API in a backwards-incompatible
# way, we bump the ABI_VERSION. If we make non-breaking changes, bumping the
# TAIL_VERSION is sufficient. In this example, the full version is 0.1
ABI_VERSION  := 0
TAIL_VERSION := 1

# Build all C and C++ sources in src/ into the library
LIB_SOURCES := $(wildcard src/*.c*)

# Build all C and C++ sources in bin/ into separate executables
BIN_SOURCES := $(wildcard bin/*.c*)

# If bin/run_foo.c exists, it is picked up in BIN_SOURCES, and the bin/run_foo
# executable will be built from the library and bin/run_foo.o (built from
# bin/run_foo.c). This is the default behavior and nothing needs to be specified

# I specify that bin/run_foo2 consists of the library and bin/run_foo2.o (as
# usual) AND links with bin/run_foo2_extra.o. The latter will be built from
# bin/run_foo2_extra.c (or .cc or .cpp and so on, whichever exists)
bin/run_foo2: bin/run_foo2_extra.o

# Suppose I have bin/run_foo3.c to build bin/run_foo3. And suppose bin/run_foo3
# needs to additionally build with sources generated from run_foo3.in: the .o
# links with bin/run_foo3_generated.o (built from bin/run_foo3_generated.c) and
# the .c #includes run_foo3_generated.h, and that both of these are generated
# from run_foo3.in. We specify this in the usual way, with a tiny bit of
# mrbuild-specific stuff:
run_foo3:   run_foo3_generated.o
run_foo3.o: run_foo3_generated.h
%3_generated.h %3_generated.c: %3.in
	make_generated_files $<
EXTRA_CLEAN += run_foo3_generated.h run_foo3_generated.c
# If we're using gengetopt to generate the sources, the build rule and the
# EXTRA_CLEAN list above are provided in mrbuild, and can be omitted.

# Any extra flags to pass to the C and C++ compilers. The build system always
# builds with debugging information and (if no other -O flag is given) with
# optimization. Use += to not override any settings from the commandline
CCXXFLAGS += -Wno-unused-parameter

# Extra flags to pass to the C compiler when building src/bleh.o from src/bleh.c
src/bleh.o: CFLAGS += -DFOO

# Link bin/run_foo with -lbar. Do NOT link the library with -lbar.
bin/run_foo: LDLIBS += -lbar

# Link all the executables AND the library with -lzap
LDLIBS += -lzap

# If we have doxygen docs, we can state the rule to build them. Everything will
# be built into doxygen-doc/, the DIST_DOC and DIST_MAN distribution lists below
# install the man-pages and the html docs
doc: doxygen-doc/
doxygen-doc/: frobnicator.dox
	SRCDIR='.' PROJECT='frobnicator' DOCDIR=$@ VERSION='$(VERSION)' PERL_PATH='/bin/perl' HAVE_DOT='YES' DOT_PATH='/bin' GENERATE_MAN='YES' GENERATE_RTF='NO' GENERATE_XML='NO' GENERATE_HTMLHELP='NO' GENERATE_CHI='NO' GENERATE_HTML='YES' GENERATE_LATEX='NO' doxygen $<
doxygen-doc/%: doxygen-doc/ ;
.PHONY: doc
EXTRA_CLEAN += doxygen-doc

# distribute (in a 'make install' and thus into the package) all headers in src/
# except those that match src/*tst*
DIST_INCLUDE        := src/*.h
DIST_INCLUDE_EXCEPT := src/*tst*

# distribute (in a 'make install' and thus into the package) all executables
# built from BIN_SOURCES except bin/*_tst. And ship the python application
DIST_BIN := $(filter-out bin/%_tst,$(wildcard $(BIN_TARGETS))) python-tool

# distribute all generated manpages in section 3 EXCEPT those for the test
# program
DIST_MAN                 := doxygen-doc/man/man3
DIST_MAN_EXCEPT_FINDSPEC := -type f -name '*_tst.3'

# distribute the html documentation
DIST_DOC := doxygen-doc/html


# This is the manpage-generating technique from
# http://notes.secretsauce.net/notes/2018/10/23_manpages-and-readmes.html
#
# generate manpages from distributed binaries, and ship them.
DIST_MAN += $(addsuffix .1,$(DIST_BIN))
$(DIST_MAN): %.1: %.pod
	pod2man --center="title: does something" --name=THING --release="thing 0.1" --section=1 $< $@
%.pod: %
	make-pod-from-help $< > $@
	cat footer.pod >> $@
EXTRA_CLEAN += $(DIST_MAN) $(patsubst %.1,%.pod,$(DIST_MAN))

# This is the python-extension-generating technique from
# http://notes.secretsauce.net/notes/2017/11/14_python-extension-modules-without-setuptools-or-distutils.html
frobnicator_pywrap.o: CFLAGS += $(PY_MRBUILD_CFLAGS)
frobnicator_pywrap.o: $(addsuffix .h,$(wildcard *.docstring))
frobnicator/_frobnicator$(PY_EXT_SUFFIX): frobnicator_pywrap.o libfrobnicator.so
	$(PY_MRBUILD_LINKER) $(PY_MRBUILD_LDFLAGS) $< -lfrobnicator -o $@
# The python libraries (compiled ones and ones written in python) all live in
# frobnicator/
DIST_PY3_MODULES := frobnicator
all: frobnicator/_frobnicator$(PY_EXT_SUFFIX)
EXTRA_CLEAN += frobnicator/*.so


include /usr/include/mrbuild/Makefile.common.footer

MAINTAINER

This is maintained by Dima Kogan <dima@secretsauce.net>

LICENSE AND COPYRIGHT

Released under an MIT-style license. Modify and distribute as you like

Copyright 2016-2019 California Institute of Technology

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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Simple build system

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