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CMake is a family of tools designed to build, test and package software. It is used to control the software development process by using simple platform and compiler independent configuration files. CMake generates original make files and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of your choice. It was created by Kitware in response to the need for a powerful, platform-building environment for Open-Source projects such as ITK and VTK.
CMake can handle on-site and out-of-place builds, enabling multiple builds from the same source tree, and cross-compilation. The ability to build a directory tree outside the source tree is a key feature and ensures that if a build directory is removed, the source file remains unaffected. Another feature is the ability to generate a cache to be used with a graphical editor, which when running CMake can find executable files, files and libraries. This information goes into the cache, which can then be tailored before generating the built-in build files. Complicated directory hierarchies and applications that rely on multiple libraries are well supported by CMake. For example, CMake is able to accommodate a project that has multiple toolkits, or libraries that each have multiple directories. In addition, CMake can work on projects that require executable files to be created before generating code to collect for the final application. Its Open Source, extensible design makes it possible to customize CMake as needed for specific projects.
It can generate makefiles for many platforms and IDEs including Unix, Windows, Mac OS X, OS / 2, MSVC, Cygwin, MinGW and Xcode. Projects using CMake include Blender, Bullet Physics Engine, LLVM and Clang, MariaDB, MuseScore, MySQL, Qt5, Second Life, Stellarium and SuperTux.
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