Difference between revisions of "CMake Policies Design Discussion"

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m (CMake Policies moved to CMake Policies Design Discussion: Move design page out of the way so user documentation page may be put in its place.)
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We propose the following solution to this problem.
We propose the following solution to this problem.


Each change that introduces a compatibility issue is assigned a new identification number (like CMP_00001).  Then we try to detect cases in user code where it '''might''' be an issue and deal with it.  We can maintain in the implementation of CMake a mapping from policy id to a rule to deal with the issue when encountered.  The possible means of dealing with such cases are:
Each change that introduces a compatibility issue is assigned a new identification number (like CMP0001).  Then we try to detect cases in user code where it '''might''' be an issue and deal with it.  We can maintain in the implementation of CMake a mapping from policy id to a rule to deal with the issue when encountered.  The possible means of dealing with such cases are:


{| border="1"
{| border="1"
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   cmake_policy(PUSH)
   cmake_policy(PUSH)
   cmake_policy(NEW CMP_00001)
   cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001)
   ... code using CMP_00001 ...
   ... code using CMP0001 ...
   cmake_policy(POP)
   cmake_policy(POP)


Line 122: Line 122:
! Id !! Alias !! Description
! Id !! Alias !! Description
|-
|-
| CMP_00000 || CMP_POLICY_SPECIFICATION || Projects should specify a cmake_policy command at their top level.
| CMP0000 || CMP_POLICY_SPECIFICATION || Projects should specify a cmake_policy command at their top level.
|-
|-
| CMP_00001 || CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS || Enable proper escaping of definitions added with ADD_DEFINITIONS
| CMP0001 || CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS || Enable proper escaping of definitions added with ADD_DEFINITIONS
|-
|-
| CMP_00002 || CMP_ESCAPE_CUSTOM_COMMANDS || Enable proper escaping of custom command lines with ADD_CUSTOM_COMMAND, make VERBATIM argument an error
| CMP0002 || CMP_ESCAPE_CUSTOM_COMMANDS || Enable proper escaping of custom command lines with ADD_CUSTOM_COMMAND, make VERBATIM argument an error
|-
|-
| CMP_00003 || CMP_NO_AUTOMATIC_LINK_PATHS || Disable generation of compatibility -L options on link lines
| CMP0003 || CMP_NO_AUTOMATIC_LINK_PATHS || Disable generation of compatibility -L options on link lines
|}
|}


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   add_definitions("-DFOO=\\\"hello\\ world\\\"")
   add_definitions("-DFOO=\\\"hello\\ world\\\"")


can now produce a warning CMP_00001 that CMake does not know whether to escape the definition (only when a non-trivial value is given).
can now produce a warning CMP0001 that CMake does not know whether to escape the definition (only when a non-trivial value is given).


The project may suppress the warning in their release branch:
The project may suppress the warning in their release branch:
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   add_custom_command(OUTPUT foo.txt COMMAND mycmd -with -some -arguments -out foo.txt)
   add_custom_command(OUTPUT foo.txt COMMAND mycmd -with -some -arguments -out foo.txt)


may now produce a warning CMP_00002 that CMake does not know whether to escape the command.
may now produce a warning CMP0002 that CMake does not know whether to escape the command.
The project may write
The project may write


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   target_link_libraries(mytarget /path/to/libA.so B)
   target_link_libraries(mytarget /path/to/libA.so B)


may now produce a warning CMP_00003 that library B may not have the correct link directory specified but then generate -L/path/to anyway.  The project may write
may now produce a warning CMP0003 that library B may not have the correct link directory specified but then generate -L/path/to anyway.  The project may write


   project(FOO)
   project(FOO)
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==Feature Lifespan Example==
==Feature Lifespan Example==


Using the CMP_00001 || CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS example above let's examine how it would work. In CMake 2.4 definitions had to be escaped by the user which probably does not work on MSVC etc. So in 2.6 we want to start switching over to having CMake handle the escaping.  
Using the CMP0001 || CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS example above let's examine how it would work. In CMake 2.4 definitions had to be escaped by the user which probably does not work on MSVC etc. So in 2.6 we want to start switching over to having CMake handle the escaping.  


* CMake 2.4: old behavior, issue CMP_0001 does not even exist
* CMake 2.4: old behavior, issue CMP0001 does not even exist


* CMake 2.6: issue CMP_0001 is created and set to WARN and version number 2.6. By default old projects will still work but will receive a warning if they use this feature. The policy can be either made OLD <code>cmake_policy(OLD CMP_0001)</code> with no other changes to the CMakeLists file or the issue can be fixed by changing their code and setting it to NEW <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP_0001)</code>. Or they can ignore it and just live with the warnings.
* CMake 2.6: issue CMP0001 is created and set to WARN and version number 2.6. By default old projects will still work but will receive a warning if they use this feature. The policy can be either made OLD <code>cmake_policy(OLD CMP0001)</code> with no other changes to the CMakeLists file or the issue can be fixed by changing their code and setting it to NEW <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001)</code>. Or they can ignore it and just live with the warnings.


* CMake 2.8: Nothing changes, stays as a warning
* CMake 2.8: Nothing changes, stays as a warning


* CMake 2.10: We change the default value of issue CMP_0001 to REQUIRED_IF_USED.  Implementation of the old behavior is removed, but the check for its need is still present.  If the user code causes CMake to hit the check then it must also have specified <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP_0001)</code> or <code>cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)</code> (or higher).  Otherwise an error is produced.
* CMake 2.10: We change the default value of issue CMP_0001 to REQUIRED_IF_USED.  Implementation of the old behavior is removed, but the check for its need is still present.  If the user code causes CMake to hit the check then it must also have specified <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001)</code> or <code>cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)</code> (or higher).  Otherwise an error is produced.


* CMake 2.12: We change the default value of issue CMP_0001 to REQUIRED_ALWAYS.  Implementation of the old behavior '''and''' the check for it are removed.  The user code '''must''' specify <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP_0001)</code> or <code>cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)</code> (or higher) whether or not the feature is used.  Otherwise an error is produced.
* CMake 2.12: We change the default value of issue CMP0001 to REQUIRED_ALWAYS.  Implementation of the old behavior '''and''' the check for it are removed.  The user code '''must''' specify <code>cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001)</code> or <code>cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)</code> (or higher) whether or not the feature is used.  Otherwise an error is produced.


==Discussion==
==Discussion==
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* Any compatibility bug introduced accidentally and reported by a user can be fixed in CMake by converting it to one of these issues
* Any compatibility bug introduced accidentally and reported by a user can be fixed in CMake by converting it to one of these issues


Note <code>CMP_00000</code> in the above example.  This should be the first (lowest numbered) policy we introduce.  We want all projects to specify a policy version level at the top:
Note <code>CMP0000</code> in the above example.  This should be the first (lowest numbered) policy we introduce.  We want all projects to specify a policy version level at the top:


   project(FOO)
   project(FOO)
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* CMake 2.6 does not present <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> by default
* CMake 2.6 does not present <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> by default
* If the project does not set the policy version (which produces the CMP_00000 warning) or sets the policy version to 2.4 or lower then we add <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> to the cache with a starting value of the policy version level.
* If the project does not set the policy version (which produces the CMP0000 warning) or sets the policy version to 2.4 or lower then we add <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> to the cache with a starting value of the policy version level.
* It is an error for anything (project or user) to set <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> to a value of higher than 2.4.
* It is an error for anything (project or user) to set <code>CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY</code> to a value of higher than 2.4.
* Any check of the value performed by CMake 2.4 (for values 2.2 and lower of course) is left in place.
* Any check of the value performed by CMake 2.4 (for values 2.2 and lower of course) is left in place.
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There are a few other variables/properties checked by CMake HEAD that approximate the policy feature.
There are a few other variables/properties checked by CMake HEAD that approximate the policy feature.


* The variable <code>CMAKE_OLD_LINK_PATHS</code> is used for CMP_00003 above.
* The variable <code>CMAKE_OLD_LINK_PATHS</code> is used for CMP0003 above.
* The global property <code>ALLOW_DUPLICATE_CUSTOM_TARGETS</code> is used to allow multiple <code>ADD_CUSTOM_TARGET</code> commands to specify the same target.
* The global property <code>ALLOW_DUPLICATE_CUSTOM_TARGETS</code> is used to allow multiple <code>ADD_CUSTOM_TARGET</code> commands to specify the same target.



Revision as of 16:00, 13 March 2008

This page describes a proposal for a formal backwards/forwards compatibility feature.

Motivating Examples

The ADD_DEFINITIONS Command

Consider code such as

 add_definitions("-DFOO=\\\"hello\\ world\\\"")

which tries to add the option

 -DFOO=\"hello\ world\"

to the compile command line. The code works in CMake 2.4's Unix Makefiles generator and produces a definition as if

 #define FOO "hello world"

appeared in the source code. It works only because of the way the makefile generator happens to place the definition string in the command line. It may not work with the VS IDE generators. In CMake HEAD we provide the COMPILE_DEFINITIONS directory property so that one may write

 set_property(DIRECTORY PROPERTY COMPILE_DEFINITIONS "FOO=\"hello world\"")

to get the correct behavior on all generators. Since CMake HEAD contains the appropriate escaping support it is desirable to allow the user to write

 add_definitions("-DFOO=\"hello world\"")

and get the expected behavior. Unfortunately if we were to start escaping the definitions given to add_definitions we would break compatibility with projects that are already adding their own escapes. In hindsight we should have either supported escapes from the beginning or make the command give an error that the definition value is not supported, but it is too late now. A similar problem appears in the add_custom_command command where support for properly escaping all arguments was added late. The solution currently used by that command is to require the user to add a VERBATIM argument to the command to get proper escaping. Using that solution for add_definitions would make the user write

 add_definitions(VERBATIM "-DFOO=\"hello world\"")

just to get CMake to do the right thing. For compatibility CMake would have to implement the wrong behavior by default forever.

Missing Link Directories

Projects used to be able to write this (wrong) code and it would work by accident:

  add_executable(myexe myexe.c)
  target_link_libraries(myexe /path/to/libA.so B)

where "B" is meant to link "/path/to/libB.so". This code is incorrect because it asks CMake to link to B but does not provide the proper linker search path for it. It used to work by accident because the -L/path/to would get added as part of the implementation of linking to A. The correct code would be

  link_directories(/path/to)
  add_executable(myexe myexe.c)
  target_link_libraries(myexe /path/to/libA.so B)

or even better

  add_executable(myexe myexe.c)
  target_link_libraries(myexe /path/to/libA.so /path/to/libB.so)

Currently we provide the CMAKE_OLD_LINK_PATHS variable to allow projects or users to quickly work around the problem. Full compatibility would require us to support thie behavior by default forever. That would allow new projects to be written with the same bug.

An alternative is to require all libraries to be linked via full path (where target names are expanded automatically). Whenever a non-full-path is given we could produce a warning that tells the user to start using find_library or something like that but then implement the old linker search path computation for compatibility. It is desirable to let projects that have been updated for newer CMake versions tell CMake that they know what they are doing and to not warn or use the compatibility behavior.

Proposed Solution

We propose the following solution to this problem.

Each change that introduces a compatibility issue is assigned a new identification number (like CMP0001). Then we try to detect cases in user code where it might be an issue and deal with it. We can maintain in the implementation of CMake a mapping from policy id to a rule to deal with the issue when encountered. The possible means of dealing with such cases are:

Rule Behavior Meaning Default?
OLD old Project suppresses the diagnostic never
NEW new Project declares the case has been resolved never
WARN old Emit warning when case is encountered most cases
REQUIRED_IF_USED new Must use the new behavior future CMake release, compatibility can be dropped but still checked for
REQUIRED_ALWAYS new Must use the new behavior future CMake release, compatibility is dropped as well as the code to check if the file uses this issue

Several releases after a compatibility issue has been introduced we can remove implementation of support for the old behavior and set it to "REQUIRED" internally that requires a project to declare the issue NEW or to be of a CMake version such that we know it would have generated warning. See the feature lifespan example.

Proposed CMAKE_POLICY Command

We will introduce a new command for projects to use for setting the rule for each policy.

The signature

 cmake_policy(<OLD|NEW> [policy-id1 [policy-id2 [...]]])

sets a list of policies to use OLD or NEW behavior. It is an error to specify a policy id that does not exist (because it might refer to a policy id introduced in a future version of CMake).

The signature

 cmake_policy(VERSION <major[.minor[.patch]]>)

sets all rules for policies introduced in the specified version or below to NEW and all other rules to WARN. It also requires the version of CMake running to be at least that high. The cmake_minimum_required(VERSION) command can do something similar (but use of new commands versus fixing other issues are distinct cases so the defaults may need to be different).

The signature

 cmake_policy(<PUSH|POP>)

pushes or pops the current policy state on a stack. The stack is automatically pushed/popped when entering a new directory (under add_subdirectory for example). Within a directory the number of PUSH and POP calls must match or it is an error. This signature is useful in a .cmake script meant for inclusion in other projects. It could write

 cmake_policy(PUSH)
 cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001)
 ... code using CMP0001 ...
 cmake_policy(POP)

The command could also provide an alias for each policy id that is more human readable:

 cmake_policy(NEW CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS)

Examples

Let's define a few example policy ids

Id Alias Description
CMP0000 CMP_POLICY_SPECIFICATION Projects should specify a cmake_policy command at their top level.
CMP0001 CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS Enable proper escaping of definitions added with ADD_DEFINITIONS
CMP0002 CMP_ESCAPE_CUSTOM_COMMANDS Enable proper escaping of custom command lines with ADD_CUSTOM_COMMAND, make VERBATIM argument an error
CMP0003 CMP_NO_AUTOMATIC_LINK_PATHS Disable generation of compatibility -L options on link lines

The code

 add_definitions("-DFOO=\\\"hello\\ world\\\"")

can now produce a warning CMP0001 that CMake does not know whether to escape the definition (only when a non-trivial value is given).

The project may suppress the warning in their release branch:

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(OLD CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS)
 ...
 add_definitions("-DFOO=\\\"hello\\ world\\\"")

or fix the code:

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(NEW CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS)
 ...
 add_definitions("-DFOO=\"hello world\"")

Either way CMake knows exactly how to handle the code and does not need to warn.

Similarly, the code

 add_custom_command(OUTPUT foo.txt COMMAND mycmd -with -some -arguments -out foo.txt)

may now produce a warning CMP0002 that CMake does not know whether to escape the command. The project may write

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(NEW CMP_ESCAPE_CUSTOM_COMMANDS)
 ...
 add_custom_command(OUTPUT foo.txt COMMAND mycmd -with -some -arguments -out foo.txt)

to get rid of the warning and use proper escaping.

The code

 target_link_libraries(mytarget /path/to/libA.so B)

may now produce a warning CMP0003 that library B may not have the correct link directory specified but then generate -L/path/to anyway. The project may write

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(NEW CMP_NO_AUTOMATIC_LINK_PATHS)
 ...
 link_directories(/path/to)
 target_link_libraries(mytarget /path/to/libA.so B)

Once the project has fixed all issues related to upgrading to CMake 2.6 it can just write

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)

to get all the updated behavior. Future versions of CMake (> 2.6) may then warn on their new policies.

Feature Lifespan Example

Using the CMP0001 || CMP_ESCAPE_DEFINITIONS example above let's examine how it would work. In CMake 2.4 definitions had to be escaped by the user which probably does not work on MSVC etc. So in 2.6 we want to start switching over to having CMake handle the escaping.

  • CMake 2.4: old behavior, issue CMP0001 does not even exist
  • CMake 2.6: issue CMP0001 is created and set to WARN and version number 2.6. By default old projects will still work but will receive a warning if they use this feature. The policy can be either made OLD cmake_policy(OLD CMP0001) with no other changes to the CMakeLists file or the issue can be fixed by changing their code and setting it to NEW cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001). Or they can ignore it and just live with the warnings.
  • CMake 2.8: Nothing changes, stays as a warning
  • CMake 2.10: We change the default value of issue CMP_0001 to REQUIRED_IF_USED. Implementation of the old behavior is removed, but the check for its need is still present. If the user code causes CMake to hit the check then it must also have specified cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001) or cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6) (or higher). Otherwise an error is produced.
  • CMake 2.12: We change the default value of issue CMP0001 to REQUIRED_ALWAYS. Implementation of the old behavior and the check for it are removed. The user code must specify cmake_policy(NEW CMP0001) or cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6) (or higher) whether or not the feature is used. Otherwise an error is produced.

Discussion

This solution has the following advantages:

  • All compatibility issues are documented and given unique identifiers
    • Documentation can include association with CMake version ranges (when introduced, when REQUIRED, etc.)
  • We can be more aggressive about detecting cases without worrying about false positives because it is just a warning
  • When generating a warning or error message we can reference the feature id and tell the user what to do
  • Projects can be converted to newer CMake features incrementally
  • Project authors will be motivated by the warnings to update their code, but it will build for users without extra work
  • Code written that does not hit one of these issues will work without any special declarations
    • The hello-world example does not need to show version specification
  • We have an exit-path to remove support for a compatibility feature eventually
    • Make projects set the rule to NEW explicitly or via VERSION specification
  • Any compatibility bug introduced accidentally and reported by a user can be fixed in CMake by converting it to one of these issues

Note CMP0000 in the above example. This should be the first (lowest numbered) policy we introduce. We want all projects to specify a policy version level at the top:

 project(FOO)
 cmake_policy(VERSION 2.6)

This should somehow interface with cmake_minimum_required since many projects have it already:

 project(FOO)
 cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.4)

We could also consider making it an optional argument to the project command for brevity:

 project(FOO CMAKE 2.6)

It should be a warning to encounter a command other than project, cmake_policy or cmake_minimum_required before a policy version has been set.

Interaction with Previous Compatibility Features

CMake 2.4 currently presents all users with the cache entry CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY. The policy mechanism replaces it, but we may still need to present it for old projects and honor it for cases supported by 2.4 in case projects set it. I propose the following behavior

  • CMake 2.6 does not present CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY by default
  • If the project does not set the policy version (which produces the CMP0000 warning) or sets the policy version to 2.4 or lower then we add CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY to the cache with a starting value of the policy version level.
  • It is an error for anything (project or user) to set CMAKE_BACKWARDS_COMPATIBILITY to a value of higher than 2.4.
  • Any check of the value performed by CMake 2.4 (for values 2.2 and lower of course) is left in place.
  • All other checks (for value 2.4) we have in CMake HEAD right now get converted to policies.


There are a few other variables/properties checked by CMake HEAD that approximate the policy feature.

  • The variable CMAKE_OLD_LINK_PATHS is used for CMP0003 above.
  • The global property ALLOW_DUPLICATE_CUSTOM_TARGETS is used to allow multiple ADD_CUSTOM_TARGET commands to specify the same target.

These (and others?) need to be converted to policies appropriately.


CMake 2.4 provides the VERBATIM option to ADD_CUSTOM_COMMAND to enable correct escaping. This needs to be converted to a policy as follows

  • Old behavior is to accept VERBATIM or not and escape accordingly
  • New behavior is to escape correctly and reject the VERBATIM option