• Eduardo Lima (Etrunko)'s avatar
    Add support for building with meson/ninja · 7a87356b
    Eduardo Lima (Etrunko) authored
    In a comparison with current autotools build system, meson/ninja
    provides a huge improvement in build speed, while keeping the same
    functionalities currently available and being considered more user
    friendly.
    
    The new system coexists within the same repository with the current one,
    so we can do more extensive testing of its functionality before deciding
    if the old system can be removed, or for some reason, has to stay for
    good.
    
    - Meson: https://mesonbuild.com
    
      This is the equivalent of autogen/configure step in autotools. It
      generates the files that will be used by ninja to actually build the
      source code.
    
      The project has received lots of traction recently, with many GNOME
      projects willing to move to this new build system. The following wiki
      page has more details of the status of the many projects being ported:
    
        https://wiki.gnome.org/Initiatives/GnomeGoals/MesonPorting
    
      Meson has a python-like syntax, easy to read, and the documentation
      on the project is very complete, with a dedicated page on how to port
      from autotools, explaining how most common use cases can be
      implemented using meson.
    
        http://mesonbuild.com/Porting-from-autotools.html
    
      Other important sources of information:
    
        http://mesonbuild.com/howtox.html
        http://mesonbuild.com/Syntax.html
        http://mesonbuild.com/Reference-manual.html
    
    - Ninja: https://ninja-build.org
    
      Ninja is the equivalent of make in an autotools setup, which actually
      builds the source code. It has being used by large and complex
      projects such as Google Chrome, Android and LLVM. There is not much to
      say about ninja (other than it is much faster than make) because we
      won't interact directly with it as much, as meson does the middle man
      job here. The reasoning for creating ninja in the first place is
      explained on the following post:
    
        http://neugierig.org/software/chromium/notes/2011/02/ninja.html
    
      Also its manual provides more in-depth information about the design
      principles:
    
        https://ninja-build.org/manual.html
    
    - Basic workflow:
    
      Meson package is available for most if not all distros, so, taking
      Fedora as an example, we only need to run:
    
        # dnf -y install meson ninja-build.
    
      With Meson, building in-tree is not possible at all, so we need to
      pass a directory as argument to meson where we want the build to be
      done. This has the advantage of creating builds with different options
      under the same parent directory, e.g.:
    
        $ meson ./build --prefix=/usr
        $ meson ./build-extra -Dextra-checks=true -Dalignment-checks=true
    
      After configuration is done, we call ninja to actually do the build.
    
        $ ninja -C ./build
        $ ninja -C ./build install
    
      Ninja defaults to parallel builds, and this can be changed with the -j
      flag.
    
        $ ninja -j 10 -C ./build
    
    - Hacking:
    
      * meson.build: Mandatory for the project root and usually found under
                     each directory you want something to be built.
    
      * meson_options.txt: Options that can interfere with the result of the
                           build.
    Signed-off-by: default avatarEduardo Lima (Etrunko) <etrunko@redhat.com>
    Acked-by: Victor Toso's avatarVictor Toso <victortoso@redhat.com>
    7a87356b
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