Using CMake to generate Visual Studio C++ project files


Question

I am working on an open source C++ project, for code that compiles on Linux and Windows. I use CMake to build the code on Linux. For ease of development setup and political reasons, I must stick to Visual Studio project files/editor on Windows (I can't switch to Code::Blocks, for example). I see instructions to generate Visual Studio files using CMake, as here.

Have you used CMake to generate Visual Studio files before? How has been your experience? Suppose I want to add a new file to my project. What is the workflow for this?

1
86
5/22/2017 12:00:33 AM

Accepted Answer

CMake is actually pretty good for this. The key part was everyone on the Windows side has to remember to run CMake before loading in the solution, and everyone on our Mac side would have to remember to run it before make.

The hardest part was as a Windows developer making sure your structural changes were in the cmakelist.txt file and not in the solution or project files as those changes would probably get lost and even if not lost would not get transferred over to the Mac side who also needed them, and the Mac guys would need to remember not to modify the make file for the same reasons.

It just requires a little thought and patience, but there will be mistakes at first. But if you are using continuous integration on both sides then these will get shook out early, and people will eventually get in the habit.

55
5/22/2017 12:02:10 AM

Not sure if it's directly related to the question, but I was looking for an answer for how to generate *.sln from cmake projects I've discovered that one can use something like this:

cmake -G "Visual Studio 10"

The example generates needed VS 2010 files from an input CMakeLists.txt file


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