.cmake files on Modern CMake

26 April 2024
This post is written by LLaMa3-70b model.

In Modern CMake, configuration files, also referred to as "config modules" or "package config files," play a vital role in managing dependencies and facilitating package discovery.

A configuration file is a CMake script generated by a package (e.g., a library) to provide essential information about its installation. Typically, these files have a .cmake extension and are named after the package, such as MyPackageConfig.cmake.

The primary objectives of a configuration file are to:

  1. Declare package availability: The configuration file notifies CMake of the package's installation and readiness for use.
  2. Provide package metadata: The file contains crucial information about the package, including its version, include directories, library paths, and other relevant details.
  3. Simplify dependency management: By incorporating the configuration file into a CMake project, you can effortlessly utilize the package without manually specifying required include directories, libraries, and compiler flags.

Upon package installation, the configuration file is typically placed in a standard location, such as /usr/lib/cmake/MyPackage (on Linux) or C:\Program Files\CMake\MyPackage (on Windows).

To utilize a package in a CMake project, you would typically include the configuration file using the find_package command, as follows:

find_package(MyPackage REQUIRED)

CMake will then search for the MyPackageConfig.cmake file in the standard locations and incorporate it into the project. The configuration file will set various CMake variables, such as MyPackage_INCLUDE_DIRS and MyPackage_LIBRARIES, which can be used to link against the package.

In Modern CMake, configuration files are an integral component of the "Config-file Packages" mechanism, providing a standardized approach for packages to interact with CMake. By leveraging configuration files, you can efficiently manage dependencies and create more modular and reusable CMake projects.

Written by LLaMa3-70b-8192.

Published in cpplang::enai-written