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Re: [cdt-dev] Is there interest in a rewritten managed build?
  • From: Mark Goodchild <mark.goodchild@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2023 11:01:55 +0000
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  • Thread-topic: [cdt-dev] Is there interest in a rewritten managed build?

Hi all,


I agree with much of what Alessandro and Erwin has said.


Our product currently uses managed build. We have invested heavily in this and on the most part it does what we need.

We have requirements from customers that like managed build as it is relatively easy to get started and there is GUI for setting up the build.

But now it is old and certainly is not getting much investment.

We also have customers that complain about the same things outlined in Alessandro’s mail. It is not easy to use managed build for C.I. and Headless build is not satisfactory for this purpose, etc., etc.


So our requirements have definitely moving towards CMake driven build for us too. Partially I think due to the increase in C.I. usage throughout development teams.

While harder to setup for some users – it is transparent and easy to customize and integrate many different tools.

So longer term -> “non IDE dependent build system is a must have for us” this will also be our requirement I think.


The question I have is whether it is possible to bridge these different types of users.

e.g. Provide some simple GUI within the IDE that sits on top of the non-IDE dependent build system.

This might make CMake type build a more attractive proposition for novice users.


We did start an initiative sometime back to consider this for CDT moving forwards.

But sadly we did not make a big enough investment to really get it going.


Definitely interested in this discussion moving forwards.


Best regards,



From: cdt-dev <cdt-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Alessandro Fardin
Sent: 13 January 2023 10:13
To: CDT General developers list. <cdt-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [cdt-dev] Is there interest in a rewritten managed build?


I'm a long term CDT USER, me and my team are developing an embedded Iot Gateway. Our code base is largely C/C++ that are cross builded for arm processor

we use Linux Ubuntu as HOST developer workstation and minly CDT as our IDE.


We have a big C/C++ project, our  build system consists of our hand made Makefiles that automates the build, test and of the entire solution.

We use the same build system in our CI/CD pipeline.


So using a non IDE dependent build system is a must have for us, and I think as said by Erwin is a trend for our industry.


Currently we are using the CDT Managed Build project / Makefile Project / Tool Chain Cross GCC.

This way CDT invokes our Makefiles and different configurations call different Makefile Targets and includes PATH so that CDT builds up its index and we can navigate easily through the code.


The problem is that configuring the project in CDT is not very easy and a bit confusing for a new people

The project files could not be saved on the repository because they are changed locally by CDT.

I remediate, by committing them in a relevant folder, then a developer checkout the project , then calls a make target that copies the eclipse/cdt project files to the root folder before opening the project with CDT.


Another problem is that almost every time we close and reopen the project in CDT, the CDT cross tool settings are lost, and so we need to reconfigure them (fortunately by invoking the target that copy the project files )


Another problem is that it is difficult to integrate some very useful tools like c-lang formatter, C-lang tidy, and other static analysis tools, in order to have a  development cycle not IDE dependent.


I love CDT, but I confess that it needs some cleaning and simplification.




Il giorno ven 13 gen 2023 alle ore 09:55 Waterlander, Erwin <erwin.waterlander@xxxxxxxxx> ha scritto:


The Managed Build project is like the traditional IDE where you have full GUI support for setting compiler and linker flags and so on. The traditional IDE can generate a Make file or another build script for you.

If you look at the top trending C/C++ projects at github you see that the trend is to move away from this. People manage a (C)Make file by hand. There is no need for GUI help.
The main reason for using an 'IDE' is the code navigation, smart editing, and a debugger GUI. Visual Studio Code satisfies these needs and became very popular.

A big advantage of the new way of working is that it seamlessly fits working on the command line and continuous integration flows. For teams this is a big plus. One user can use IDE, the other CLI. And the regressions use the same (C)Make files.

CDT's answer to this trend is the Core Build flow. I think it is better to invest in Core Build flow than in Managed Build. Core Build flow should *not* be turned into a new Managed Build. It has to stay lean and mean. We need to get the Core Build Makefile Project out of the 'experimental' state. I think that is the best replacement for the current Managed Build.


Erwin Waterlander                                                 Intel
erwin.waterlander@intel                                   The Netherlands

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cdt-dev <cdt-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Christian
> Walther
> Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2023 18:08
> To: CDT General developers list. <cdt-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: [cdt-dev] Is there interest in a rewritten managed build?
> jan <jan@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Therefore I would like to know whether there is interest in this?
> Speaking as a downstream integrator who is using managed build, my
> tentative answer is: Probably not, from us.
> While managed build is complicated and quirky, it mostly does what we
> need, and where it doesn’t, we have patches and workarounds in place. It‘s
> all a big, organically grown mess (some of our early decisions turned out
> questionable in hindsight), but it works. I am skeptical whether transplanting
> that mess onto a rewritten base would be worth the effort. What you design
> to address your gripes will not necessarily also address our gripes, at the
> same time I do not have time to contribute to designing a system that
> addresses everyone’s gripes.
> What happened to the efforts to build a new managed build system based
> on core build anyway? (Where I confess I never contributed either.)
>  -Christian
> --
> Indel AG
> Christian Walther - Software
> Tuefiwis 26
> CH-8332 Russikon
> Switzerland
> Tel.: +41 44 956 20 00
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