Sometimes source files need to be preprocessed before they are passed
to the actual compiler. As an example you might want build an IDL
compiler and then run some files through that to generate actual
source files. In Meson this is done with
Let's say you have a build target that must be built using sources generated by a compiler. The compiler can either be a built target:
mycomp = executable('mycompiler', 'compiler.c')
Or an external program provided by the system, or script inside the source tree:
mycomp = find_program('mycompiler')
Custom targets can take zero or more input files and use them to generate one or more output files. Using a custom target, you can run this compiler at build time to generate the sources:
gen_src = custom_target('gen-output', input : ['somefile1.c', 'file2.c'], output : ['out.c', 'out.h'], command : [mycomp, '@INPUT@', '--c-out', '@OUTPUT0@', '--h-out', '@OUTPUT1@'])
@INPUT@ there will be transformed to
'somefile1.c' 'file2.c'. Just like the output, you can also refer to each input
file individually by index.
Then you just put that in your program and you're done.
executable('program', 'main.c', gen_src)
Generators are similar to custom targets, except that we define a generator, which defines how to transform an input file into one or more output files, and then use that on as many input files as we want.
Note that generators should only be used for outputs that will only be
used as inputs for a build target or a custom target. When you use the
processed output of a generator in multiple targets, the generator
will be run multiple times to create outputs for each target. Each
output will be created in a target-private directory
If you want to generate files for general purposes such as for
generating headers to be used by several sources, or data that will be
installed, and so on, use a
gen = generator(mycomp, output : '@BASENAME@.c', arguments : ['@INPUT@', '@OUTPUT@'])
The first argument is the executable file to run. The next file
specifies a name generation rule. It specifies how to build the output
file name for a given input name.
@BASENAME@ is a placeholder for
the input file name without preceding path or suffix (if any). So if
the input file name were
some/path/filename.idl, then the output
name would be
filename.c. You can also use
preserves the suffix which would result in a file called
filename.idl.c. The last line specifies the command line arguments
to pass to the executable.
@OUTPUT@ are placeholders
for the input and output files, respectively, and will be
automatically filled in by Meson. If your rule produces multiple
output files and you need to pass them to the command line, append the
location to the output holder like this:
With this rule specified we can generate source files and add them to a target.
gen_src = gen.process('input1.idl', 'input2.idl') executable('program', 'main.c', gen_src)
Generators can also generate multiple output files with unknown names:
gen2 = generator(someprog, output : ['@BASENAME@.c', '@BASENAME@.h'], arguments : ['--out_dir=@BUILD_DIR@', '@INPUT@'])
In this case you can not use the plain
@OUTPUT@ variable, as it
would be ambiguous. This program only needs to know the output
directory, it will generate the file names by itself.
To make passing different additional arguments to the generator
program at each use possible, you can use the
@EXTRA_ARGS@ string in
arguments list. Note that this placeholder can only be present
as a whole string, and not as a substring. The main reason is that it
represents a list of strings, which may be empty, or contain multiple
elements; and in either case, interpolating it into the middle of a
single string would be troublesome. If there are no extra arguments
passed in from a
process() invocation, the placeholder is entirely
omitted from the actual list of arguments, so an empty string won't be
passed to the generator program because of this. If there are multiple
extra_args, they are inserted into to the actual
argument list as separate elements.
gen3 = generator(genprog, output : '@BASENAME@.cc', arguments : ['@INPUT@', '@EXTRA_ARGS@', '@OUTPUT@']) gen3_src1 = gen3.process('input1.y') gen3_src2 = gen3.process('input2.y', extra_args: '--foo') gen3_src3 = gen3.process('input3.y', extra_args: ['--foo', '--bar'])
The results of the search are