[cmake-developers] Fwd: How to handle different cmake versions in extra-cmake-modules ?

Alexander Neundorf neundorf at kde.org
Tue Dec 6 13:13:55 EST 2011


On Monday 07 November 2011, Brad King wrote:
> On 11/6/2011 6:12 AM, Stephen Kelly wrote:
> > ecm_copy_modules(${CMAKE_BINARY_DIR}/modules FindFoo.cmake
> > 
> >                                               FindBlub.cmake
> >                                               ECMDoSomething.cmake)
> > 
> > )
> > 
> > This macro would copy just these needed files into the given directory,
> > which can then be added to CMAKE_MODULE_PATH.
> See below for an idea that may solve cases 2 and 3 together.
> > Case 3. I don't really have an idea yet. Add some code at the top of each
> > file which include()s the file from cmake if the version is bigger than
> > some specified version ?
> > 
> > Something like:
> > FindBlub.cmake:
> > 
> > if(CMAKE_VERSION>  2.8.12)
> > 
> >    include(${CMAKE_ROOT}/Modules/FindBlub.cmake)
> >    return()
> > 
> > endif()
> We've done the following before:
>   if(EXISTS ${CMAKE_ROOT}/Modules/FindBlub.cmake)
>     include(${CMAKE_ROOT}/Modules/FindBlub.cmake)
>     return()
>   endif()
> That way you don't need to know when the module is added.  It is also
> forward-compatible for any module not yet in CMake but may be later.
> OTOH the version of the module added to CMake may provide a slightly
> different interface than the original version.  That leads to the
> unfortunate situation that a newer CMake breaks an existing build,
> which looks like CMake's fault but isn't.
> Another option is to provide a function that generates forwarding
> modules.  Instead of ecm_copy_modules, create a similar API that
> generates short modules that include either the ECM version or the
> CMake version depending on some conditions.  Do the inclusion by
> full path so that the actual ECM module dir does not need to be in

yesterday in the train I found the time to do start with something on this.

So, here is the idea:

* the files containing macros/functions and the find-modules are put into two 
different directories, e.g. modules/macros/ and modules/find/.

(Since the macros will all have the "ecm_" prefix, a clash with anything from 
cmake is not possible. So we only have to care about the Find-modules.)
So when doing 
two variables will be defined, ECM_MACROS_DIR and ECM_FIND_MODULES_DIR.

If somebody wants everything, he does


If he wants to use only some macros, he does

If he wants to use a subset of the find-modules, there is a function 
ecm_use_find_modules(DIR <destdir>
                     MODULES FindFoo.cmake FindBar.cmake ...
                     [NO_OVERRIDE] )

The listed find-modules will be copied from ${ECM_FIND_MODULES_DIR} to the 
directory given here as destination dir, and this directory has to be added to 
If NO_OVERRIDE is used, the files will only be used if they do not exist in 
This way e.g. FindBlub.cmake will be used until it is part of cmake, then the 
cmake version will be used.

Attached is a draft of the file, just to show the idea, I didn't actually try 
to run it yet.


1) use everything from e-c-m:

find_package(extra-cmake-modules REQUIRED)

2) make all macros available, but no find-modules:

find_package(extra-cmake-modules REQUIRED)

3) make all macros available and some find-modules if they do not yet exist in 

find_package(extra-cmake-modules REQUIRED)
ecm_use_find_modules(DIR ${CMAKE_CURRENT_BINARY_DIR}/ecm/
                     MODULES FindFoo.cmake NO_OVERRIDE)


4) make all macros available and some find-modules as override for the cmake 

find_package(extra-cmake-modules REQUIRED)
ecm_use_find_modules(DIR ${CMAKE_CURRENT_BINARY_DIR}/ecm/
                     MODULES FindBoost.cmake)


Does that look like it should cover all use cases, for peopling wanting to 
selectively use some things from e-c-m, and fearing that something would break 
if they simply would make everything available ?

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