[OSRM-talk] Cmake will replace the build tool

Dennis Luxen luxen at kit.edu
Sun Feb 10 18:36:00 GMT 2013

Hello everyone,

I'd like to inform you of an upcoming change of the OSRM build eco-
system. We are switching from Scons to cmake [1] in the near future. You
will need to install the cmake package for your platform.

In the past we used Scons for building and there was a time when we were
happy with it. But the times they are a-changing. Scons is good for
rather simple builds and our project has grown in the past 12 months.
Especially, Scons has become a liability during development where
repeated rebuilds are necessary.

If you have been following the several branches of the code than you
have noticed the experimental/cmake branch. This branch has been
replaced by a new one in feature/cmake. This means the feature is in
active development and will be integrated into the develop branch as
soon as possible.

I have experimented with cmake for quite some time now and while it is
no silver bullet to all our needs, it works quite reasonably. During the
experiments, cmake proved to be a valuable tool. It helped building the
code with Intel's C++ compiler within minutes, literally. On the other
hand, Scons needed major attention for itself when attempting the same
porting efforts with it. Furthermore, cmake generates platform specific
build files, i.e. Visual Studio project files on Windows. I am quite
sure that we will have a running Windows port really soon.

The main benefits are:

- leverage platform specific build tools
- much faster startup times
- less code and better maintainability

I would like to ask you all to checkout the develop/cmake branch on your
platforms and to report build success or any errors. Do it either on the
mailing list or on the Wiki [2]. Looking forward to your feedback.

--Dennis on behalf of Team OSRM

[1] http://cmake.org/
[2] https://github.com/DennisOSRM/Project-OSRM/wiki/OSRM-Build-Matrix

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