qiBuild documentation

qibuild TODO

Below you can find a list of tasks that are not worth putting in a bug tracker.

Mostly because they involve some refactoring, or because they would cause so many changes we are not sure if/when we will tackle them.

Feel free to add your own ideas here.



  • Handle package versions?
  • Use new CMake 2.8.11 features
  • avoid using the cache for global variables and use global properties instead

Use a build ‘prefix’

qibuild does lots of black magic so that you can find dependencies and headers paths from the sources and build dir of your project, without using the “global cmake registry” or any other tricks.


  • this means you can have problems with your headers install rules and not see them
  • this also means you cannot easily depend of a project not using qibuild (even if it uses CMake), or a project using autotools

The solution is simple: After building a dependency, install it to QI_WOKTREE/root and just set CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX to QI_WOKTREE/root

This will work with any build system, (provided they have correct install rules), and will force people to have correct install rules.

Make it easier to use 3rd party cmake module

Say you find a foo-config.cmake somewhere... If you try to do



qi_use_lib(bar FOO)

This may or may not work: it depends of what the foo-config.cmake does: qi_use_lib , qi_stage_lib expects some variables (FOO_INCLUDE_DIRS, FOO_LIBRARIES) to be in the cache

It may be cleaner to add a qi_export function


# works out of the box if foo follows CMake conventions

# can specify alternative variable names (here the case is wrong)

Make it easier to stage and use header-only libraries

Basically, go from

qi_stage_header_only_lib(foo DEPENDS EIGEN3)


qi_create_header_only_lib(foo ${public_headers})
qi_use_lib(foo EIGEN3)

where foo is a header-only library depending on Eigen3

Command line

  • add group for every action parser, or only display the options specific to the given action when using qibuild <action> –help
  • add a “path” type in argparse so that (on Windows at least) we:
    • always convert to lower case
    • check for forbidden characters
  • make output more consistent (use the same color for the same thing everywhere for starters), this probably means extending the qisys.ui API
  • make qisrc init works with a local directory containing a worktree (maybe qisrc clone). but init seems better. “Are you a manifest git repo? No? So clone all.”
  • make git dependency optional


  • qibuild config should list the available build profiles
  • fix linker problems when using toolchain and third party libraries on mac
  • fix Xcode support and other “multi-configuration” IDE by having two SDK_DIRS (one debug, one release) in the same build directory
  • handle custom build directory
  • qibuild deploy: fix gdb configuration files generation
  • add qibuild find -z to look in every build directory
  • Better integration with QtCreator:
    • Write our own plugin to avoid the “CMakeList” pop-up (it only re-runs CMake to generate an XML code-blocks file, that is then re-parsed by QtCreator)
    • Match qitoolchain configurations with QtCreator’s kits
    • Automatically configure tests when they take arguments


  • mirroring qisrc manifests. (Same repos, same review, but an other “base URL”)
  • use --depth option when cloning. May speed up the initial clone


Port to Python3

It’s the future ! We already removed compatibility with Python 2.6, and python3 is now the default version on most linux distros.


  • XMLParser.xml_elem() -> dump()
  • XMLParser._write_foo() -> _dump_foo()
  • rewrite qibuild.config using XMLParser
  • rename qibuild.config -> qibuild.xml_config?
  • choose between destdir and dest_dir
  • qisrc.status.check_state(project, untracked) -> qisrc.status.check_state(project, untracked=False)
  • what we call “zombies” in the implementation of qibuild test are actually orphans (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_process), so we should fix the code accordingly. Plus this means we can write a kill_orphans method :)


  • Document pytest fixtures: we have tons of them, and some of them are very magic
  • Replace qibuild_action(“configure”) with a nicer syntax:
    • qibuild_action.call(“configure”)?
    • qibuild_action.configure(”...”)?
  • fix running automatic tests on mac


  • parser.get_* functions should be usable with **kwargs too:

    def get_worktree(args=None, **kwargs):
      options = dict()
      if args:
        options = vars(args[0])
        options = kwargs
  • qisrc.parser.get_projects(worktree, args) -> qisrc.parser.get_projects(args) (just get the worktree from the args)

  • replace qisys.interact.ask_choice Instead of a return_int option, use something like: ask_choice(message, choices, display_fun=None, allow_none=False)

    display_fun will be called on each choice to display them to the user, returning either an element from the choices list, or None if the user did not enter anything and allow_none is True

  • Use same API as shutil in qisys.sh and qisys.archive: