[Development] Notes on "Qt Build Systems" @ QtCon 2016

Jake Petroules Jake.Petroules at qt.io
Mon Sep 5 16:12:23 CEST 2016

On Sep 5, 2016, at 3:38 PM, Kevin Kofler <kevin.kofler at chello.at<mailto:kevin.kofler at chello.at>> wrote:

- (Milian) CMakeis used by e.g. clang and it works for them

… and the whole stack of software from the KDE project, and other large

Keep in mind that "large projects use X, therefore X is great" is a poor argument, because large does not necessarily mean complex. Any build tool is good at handling a large project (including autotools), but few are good at handling complex ones. Moreover, because Y uses X and it works for Y, does not mean X works for Z.

As an incredibly simple example, make is inherently limited in that it cannot even represent a rule with multiple outputs (there are some workarounds, but they are hacky and rather limited in how they can be applied). And ninja is no magic bullet here either, because that still represents a static build graph, whereas the content of Qbs' build graph can actually change during the execution of the build.

Many of you seem to not understand how complex build tools can get and just how simple Qbs can make problems that are incredibly challenging in other systems. Perhaps you should actually try Qbs before complaining about it. Or perhaps we simply need more/better examples to show the community the difference between the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 jet engine that is CMake, and the wet firecrackers that are CMake and qmake. Perhaps both. :)

No one WANTS to use CMake. They use it because they HAVE to, because it's the only thing that exists. Feel free to long for the "good old days" of the stone age, when food was scarce, disease was rampant, and life was short, but we will move forward towards a better future.
Jake Petroules - jake.petroules at qt.io<mailto:jake.petroules at qt.io>
Consulting Services Engineer - The Qt Company
Qbs build tool evangelist - qbs.io<http://qbs.io>

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