A (C++) makefile using a maven like directory structure

When you’re used to Java, you build your software using the comforting build-tools. Popular examples are Ant and Maven. Personally I love Maven.

When you’re writing an application in C++ it seems like a big step backwards build-tools wise. If you’re an Ant God you might feel a bit more comfortable with using Make. However, writing makefiles (the ‘equivalent’ of the Ant’s build.xml) are a more tough.

Since I am used to Maven, there are some tasks I want to perform, like:

– clean
– compile
– compile tests
– package

To start with. I have set up a little makefile that does this for me and for those who just want to get started, share the makefile with you. But what will you get? It won’t be exactly like Maven

It took a little while, and I bet it is far from perfect for real C++ developers who eat makefiles for breakfast. But I am happy with it for now.

The directory structure that needs to be in your project is like this (cpp vs mavenized):

CPP 					Mavenized
srcmain 				srcmainjava
srcmainresources 		srcmainresources
srcinclude			none
srctest 				srctestjava
binmain 				target
bintest 				targettest-classes
lib 					srcmainresources

When you run ‘make’ you will be doing all tasks. Meaning you will clean, compile everything (your ‘normal’ code and test code) and then copy any libraries, resources and binaries.

– I am compiling without using the -c flag, this simplifies a lot of stuff for me (it works). But, the larger your project the longer it will take to compile, since it will compile everything all the time. So even though you change one file, everything will be recompiled.
– You need to specify sub-dirs when you use them, when there are no files in those dirs the compilation fails (atleast using G++)

The makefile:


# MAIN properties

# TEST properties

all: clean compile compile-test copy-resources copy-libraries

bin: clean compile copy-resources copy-libraries

	cp $(LIB)/*.* $(BIN)

	cp -R $(RESOURCES)/ $(BIN)

compile: clean-main prepare-main
	$(CC) $(SRC)/*.cpp $(SRC)/domain/*.cpp -I$(INCLUDE) -I$(INCLUDE)/domain -o $(BIN)/d2tm -lmingw32 -lSDLmain -lSDL $(CFLAGS)

compile-test: clean-test prepare-test
	$(CC) $(SRC_TEST)/*.cpp -I$(INCLUDE) -o $(BIN_TEST)/tests $(CFLAGS)

clean:	clean-main	clean-test

	rm -rf binmain

	mkdir binmain

	rm -rf bintest

	mkdir bintest

Want to see how it is used in a project? Look here.


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