CMake Best Practices

By Dominik Berner , Mustafa Kemal Gilor
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    Chapter 1: Kickstarting CMake
About this book

CMake is a powerful tool used to perform a wide variety of tasks, so finding a good starting point for learning CMake is difficult. This book cuts to the core and covers the most common tasks that can be accomplished with CMake without taking an academic approach. While the CMake documentation is comprehensive, it is often hard to find good examples of how things fit together, especially since there are lots of dirty hacks and obsolete solutions available on the internet. This book focuses on helping you to tie things together and create clean and maintainable projects with CMake.

You'll not only get to grips with the basics but also work through real-world examples of structuring large and complex maintainable projects and creating builds that run in any programming environment. You'll understand the steps to integrate and automate various tools for improving the overall software quality, such as testing frameworks, fuzzers, and automatic generation of documentation. And since writing code is only half of the work, the book also guides you in creating installers and packaging and distributing your software. All this is tailored to modern development workflows that make heavy use of CI/CD infrastructure.

By the end of this CMake book, you'll be able to set up and maintain complex software projects using CMake in the best way possible.

Publication date:
May 2022


Part 1: The Basics

In the first chapter, you will learn how to invoke CMake and get a high-level overview of its basic concepts, as well as a brief introduction to the CMake language.

The second chapter will be about using CMake from the command line, as a GUI, or in various IDEs and editors. It will illustrate how to change various configuration options and select different compilers.

In the third chapter, we will cover creating a simple CMake project to build executables and libraries.

This part contains the following chapters:

About the Authors
  • Dominik Berner

    Dominik Berner is a software engineer, blogger and conference speaker with 20 years of professional software development under his belt. He codes mainly in C++ and has worked on many software projects, from writing bleeding edge software for surgical simulators in a startup, over maintaining large legacy platforms for large corporations in the MedTech industry to creating IoT solutions for companies in between. He beliefs that well designed and maintained build environments are one of the key elements to enable teams to write software efficiently and excel at creating quality software. When he is not writing code, he occasionally writes articles for his blog or speaks at conferences about software development.

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  • Mustafa Kemal Gilor

    Mustafa is an experienced professional working in performance-critical software development for the telecommunication, defense industries, and open-source software. His expertise is in high-performance and scalable software design, network technologies, DevOps, and software architecture. His interest in computers emerged very early on in his childhood. He learned programming to hack MMORPG games at around the age of 12, and he has been writing software ever since. His favorite programming language is C++, and he enjoys doing framework design & system programming. He is also a strong advocate of CMake; he maintained many codebases and ported many legacy projects to CMake throughout his career.

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CMake Best Practices
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