SimpleITK/Design And Proposals/SIP 001

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SIP 001 - Refactor Superbuild for More External Projects


We wish to add additional external projects to the SimpleITK Superbuild to reduce inclusion of third party packages in the source tree, as well as to improve the build time and build configuration flexibility. This is based on the requests of system packagers to utilize the system packages and reduce the third-party libraries included in SimpleITK's source code. Additionally, we wish to build the SimpleITK common libraries once and then wrapping them multiple times. Specifically, we want to be able to wrap for multiple versions of Python without having to do a "dirty" build in the same build directory.


Brad Lowekamp: Comments can be made here

Remove Third-Parties Libraries

The third-party libraries of Lua and GTest are currently included in the SimpleITK source tree and distribution. These libraries shall be removed from the repository and become a dependency for the actual ( not Superbuild ) SimpleITK project.

The requirements for Lua may come as a surprise to users who are currently not using the Superbuild. These users need to be encouraged to switch to using the SimpleITK Superbuild to provide the required dependencies. The Slicer 3D external project script for SimpleITK should serve as an example of how a build can be updated to use the Superbuild.

Note: This item is already completed. JIRA Issue: SIMPLEITK-652


Refactoring Wrapping for Modularity

The goal is to refactor the SWIG wrapping so that each wrapped language can be an independent project built against the SimpleITK project. This will enable the Swig wrapping to occur in the Superbuild level, or an additional build against SimpleITK common libraries for a different language version.

The current CMake options for the wrapped languages will be maintained as part of the SimpleITK project, but this will not be enabled by default from the Superbuild.

This new layout matches the installation and package pieces needed for system packagers because it has a clear separation of the SimpleITK common libraries vs the wrapped languages. This enables the use of CMake/CPack install facility to install and package the SimpleITK common libraries and headers. While the wrappings will have to be install and packaged according to the language conventions.

Another benefit of this separation is that it should make work an a specific language more efficient. As the SimpleITK common libraries will not need to be rebuilt at the wrapping level.

This work be done in three phases:

  1. Refractor the current Wrapping directory so that each language is in a separate sub-directory.
  2. Revise each language so that it is a CMake "Project" which will depend on and use SimpleITK.
  3. Refactor the code generation of the SimpleITK tests so that it can be used by the Wrapped language projects.
  4. Update the Superbuild to disable wrapping in the SimpleITK project but create additional external projects for each wrapped language.