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Running the Workspace Generator
The most common way to use the Make Project Creator is to run the
workspace generator ( This script will generate projects and a
single workspace that contains the generated projects. If no input file
(.mwc file) is specified, it will recurse into the directory in which the
script was started. It looks for .mpc files and generates a project or
projects for each one found.
Usage: [-global <file>] [-include <directory>] [-recurse]
[-ti <dll | lib | dll_exe | lib_exe>:<file>] [-hierarchy]
[-template <file>] [-relative NAME=VAL] [-base <project>]
[-noreldefs] [-notoplevel] [-static] [-genins] [-use_env]
[-value_template <NAME+=VAL | NAME=VAL | NAME-=VAL>]
[-value_project <NAME+=VAL | NAME=VAL | NAME-=VAL>]
[-make_coexistence] [-feature_file <file name>]
[-expand_vars] [-features <feature definitions>] [-gendot]
[-exclude <directories>] [-name_modifier <pattern>]
[-apply_project] [-version] [-into <directory>]
[-gfeature_file <file name>] [-nocomments] [-for_eclipse]
[-relative_file <file name>]
[-language <cplusplus | csharp | java | vb>]
[-type <automake | bcb2007 | bcb2009 | bds4 | bmake | cc | em3 |
ghs |html | make | nmake | sle | vc6 | vc7 | vc71 |
vc8 |vc9 | vc10 | wb26>]
-base Add <project> as a base project to each generated
project file. Do not provide a file extension, the
.mpb extension will be tried first; if that fails the
.mpc extension will be tried.
-exclude Use this option to exclude directories or files when
searching for input files.
-expand_vars Perform direct expansion, instead of performing relative
replacement with either -use_env or -relative options.
-feature_file Specifies the feature file to read before processing.
The default feature file is default.features under the
config directory.
-features Specifies the feature list to set before processing.
-for_eclipse Generate files for use with eclipse. This is only
useful for make based project types.
-gendot Generate .dot files for use with Graphviz.
-genins Generate .ins files for use with
-gfeature_file Specifies the global feature file. The
default value is global.features under the
config directory.
-global Specifies the global input file. Values stored
within this file are applied to all projects.
-hierarchy Generate a workspace in a hierarchical fashion.
-include Specifies a directory to search when looking for base
projects, template input files and templates. This
option can be used multiple times to add directories.
-into Place all output files in a mirrored directory
structure starting at <directory>. This should be a
full path. If any project within the workspace is
referenced via a full path, use of this option is
likely to cause problems.
-language Specify the language preference; possible values are
[cplusplus, csharp, java, vb]. The default is
-make_coexistence If multiple 'make' based project types are
generated, they will be named such that they can coexist.
-name_modifier Modify output names. The pattern passed to this
parameter will have the '*' portion replaced with the
actual output name. Ex. *_Static
-apply_project When used in conjunction with -name_modifier, it applies
the name modifier to the project name also.
-nocomments Do not place comments in the generated files.
-noreldefs Do not try to generate default relative definitions.
-notoplevel Do not generate the top level target file. Files
are still processed, but no top level file is created.
-recurse Recurse from the current directory and generate from
all found input files.
-relative Any $() variable in an mpc file that is matched to NAME
is replaced by VAL only if VAL can be made into a
relative path based on the current working directory.
This option can be used multiple times to add multiple
-relative_file Specifies the relative file to read before processing.
The default feature file is default.rel under the
config directory.
-static Specifies that only static projects will be generated.
By default, only dynamic projects are generated.
-template Specifies the template name (with no extension).
-ti Specifies the template input file (with no extension)
for the specific type (ex. -ti dll_exe:vc8exe).
-type Specifies the type of project file to generate. This
option can be used multiple times to generate multiple
types. There is no longer a default.
-use_env Use environment variables for all uses of $() instead
of the relative replacement values.
-value_project This option allows modification of a project variable
assignment . Use += to add VAL to the NAME's value.
Use -= to subtract and = to override the value.
This can be used to introduce new name value pairs to
a project. However, it must be a valid project
-value_template This option allows modification of a template input
name value pair. Use += to add VAL to the NAME's
value. Use -= to subtract and = to override the value.
-version Print the MPC version and exit.
The default global input file (config/global.mpb) is used if -global
is not specified on the command line.
Two include directories are used by default (config and templates).
Each project creator has a default template input file for each type of
project (dll_exe, lib_exe, dll, lib). You can override the default template
input file name with the -ti option. The file must have a 'mpt' extension
and must reside within the include search directories. NOTE: the 'lib' and
the 'lib_exe' template input files are only used when MPC is generating
static projects.
The -exclude option is used to exclude directories when searching for input
files. NOTE: This option has no effect when used with
The -gendot option (useful only to will result in the generation of
.dot files for each workspace processed. Each .dot file will contain
information that can be fed to Graphvis to display the dependency
information for the various projects found within the workspace.
The -genins option will cause MPC to generate an "install" file after
processing each project that can be used in conjunction with the script to install different parts of the project (such as
header files) into an alternate location.
The -hierarchy option is used to force the generation of a hierarchical
workspace at each directory level in between the toplevel directory and the
location of the mpc file that is being processed. This is the default for
"make" based workspace creators. NOTE: This option only has an effect when
passed to
The -template option is used to override the default template name. This
file should have a .mpd extension and sit in one of the include search
directories. NOTE: The -template option overrides the template file for all
types specified.
The -static option can be used to generate only static project files.
The -static_only option has been replaced by the -static option. Currently,
MPC only supports generating dynamic projects or static projects, but not
both during the same run. To generate them both you must run MPC twice, once
with the -static option and once without. Additionally, the vc6, em3, vc7,
vc71 and vc8 project names will no longer automatically have _Static
appended to the project name when generating static projects. This can
still be achieved by using the -name_modifier option.
When generating static projects, inter-project dependencies will not be
generated for libraries within vc6, em3, vc7 and vc71 workspaces. The
reason is due to the fact that each static library that depended upon another
would be combined at the library creation stage, resulting in extremely large
libraries. Dependencies are handled correctly by vc8 and later.
This behavior can be modified by setting the
MPC_DEPENDENCY_COMBINED_STATIC_LIBRARY environment variable. It will force
MPC to generate inter-project dependencies for libraries within a single
The -name_modifier option can be used to modify the generated workspace or
project name. The parameter to the -name_modifier option is a pattern where
an asterisk (*) within the pattern is replaced by the actual workspace or
project name. Thus, passing -name_modifier '*_Static' to will result
in all workspace and project names ending in _Static. (Ex. FOO_Static.dsw,
FOO_Static.dsp, etc.)
The -apply_project option, when used in conjunction with the -name_modifier
option, causes MPC to apply the name modifier to the project name in
addition to the workspace and project file names. This option has no effect
outside the scope of the -name_modifier option.
The -noreldefs option says not to generate default relative definitions for
*_ROOT (which comes from environment variables).
The -notoplevel option tells to generate all projects for a
workspace, but do not generate the top level workspace file. For, it
says process the mpc files, but do not generate the project files.
The -recurse option is used to search for all files that could be processed
from the current directory and its sub-directories. If directories are
passed in a comma separated list (e.g -recurse=examples,apps,TAO), then
those directories will be excluded when searching for project or workspace
The -type option can be used multiple times on the same command line to
generate projects of different types per mpc file. The default type for
this version of MPC is 'make'. NOTE: The -ti option overrides the template
input file for all types specified.
The -feature_file specifies a file to be read that enables or disables
features. These feature names can be anything, but they should correspond
to values used for the 'requires' and 'avoids' keywords. If a feature is
required and is not enable then the project will not be created. If a
feature is to be avoided and it is enabled then the project will not be
The -features specifies additional list of features values. Values
specified by this option overwrite values from features files.
Example: -features "qos=1,ssl=0" ace.mwc
The -features option can be used multiple times on the same command line, the
effect is the same as if the parameters had been specified with a single
-features options, with the parameters joined by commas.
The -value_template option can be used to set various template variables.
If a template variable value will contain spaces, it is best to enclose the
whole setting in double quotes and use single quotes within the value to
retain spaces (if it is necessary). Below is an example where the value
will have spaces and some spaces need to be retained. -value_template "configurations=Debug Release 'Memcheck Debug' 'Memcheck Release'"
Running only the Project Generator
Most of what is stated about the Workspace Generator applies to the Project
Generator except that it only generates projects. If an input file (.mpc
file) is not provided, the project creator will attempt to create a default
project in the directory from which the script was started.
MPC Codebase Configuration File
This configuration file can be used to specify alternate locations for the
MPC Configuration File. If a base.cfg is found underneath the 'config'
directory where MPC is executed, it will be read to determine the location
of MPC.cfg based on the directory in which MPC was started.
For example, if $MPC_ROOT/ is run under /foo/bar_root/src and
$MPC_ROOT/config/base.cfg contained:
/foo/bar_root = /foo/bar_root/MPC/config
MPC would attempt to open and read /foo/bar_root/MPC/config/MPC.cfg as the
MPC Configuration File. If the base configuration file is not present,
MPC will try to use $MPC_ROOT/config/MPC.cfg as the MPC Configuration File.
You may reference environment variables, accessed by $NAME, on either side of
the equals sign. In either this file or the MPC Configuration File
(see below), an alternate form of environment variable reference may be used
for variables which are not expected to be defined in all scenarios. These
variables use the syntax $?NAME instead of $NAME. With this syntax, if the
environment variable NAME is not defined, no error or warning is printed by
MPC, and the entire substring starting with $?NAME until the next whitespace is
expanded to the empty string.
MPC Configuration File
In an effort to move away from the use of environment variables, a
configuration file has been introduced. The configuration file (MPC.cfg)
can contain settings to provide command line options, control logging and
direct MPC to dynamic project types.
The following keywords are allowed in the configuration file, which will be
read from the 'config' directory of MPC.
command_line - Provide additional command line options to MPC. The
value of this setting will be prepended to the options
passed to or
default_type - Provide a single project type (as specified by the -type
option) as the default project type.
dynamic_types - This comma separated list points to directories in which
MPC will search for Perl modules to implement additional
MPC project types, base projects or template files. This
setting can be used to augment or replace functionality
in MPC. For each suitable directory found, it will add a
'modules' include path for Perl to find modules, add a
'config' include path to locate base projects and a
'template' include path to find MPC templates.
includes - Similar to the -include command line option, it adds the
list of comma separated paths to the MPC include search
logging - If this setting contains info=1, informational messages
will be printed. If it contains warn=1, warning messages
will be printed. If it contains diag=1, diagnostic
messages will be printed. If it contains debug=1, debug
message will be printed. And lastly, if it contains
detail=1, detail messages will be printed. If it
contains none of these, MPC will not print out any
information or warnings when processing projects or
workspaces. Errors are always printed if any are
encountered. The default is warn=1 diag=1 detail=1.
main_functions - Provide additional main functions to be recognized in
conjunction with automatic executable project
recognition. The value assigned should be of the form
<language>:<func name>[, <language>:<func name>]*. A
function can be specified for all languages by only
providing the function name.
verbose_ordering - If this is set, will warn the user about
references to projects in the 'after' keyword that have
not been processed.
Below is an example configuration file:
// MPC configuration file
dynamic_types = $ACE_ROOT/bin/MakeProjectCreator
logging = info=1 warn=1
verbose_ordering = 1
Environment Variables
MPC_DEPENDENCY_COMBINED_STATIC_LIBRARY - See the -static section above.
MPC_GHS_UNIX - This environment variable is only meaningful when generating
the ghs project files. By default, the ghs type assumes that it is for
Windows. If this is not the case, set this environment variable prior to
running MPC.
MPC_USE_WIN_COMMANDS - Setting this causes the Windows related pseudo
template variables to be used regardless of the type of project being
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