Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

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DJ
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Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

DJ
I have only very recently encountered the need to use cmake. It seems
this need came all at once out of the blue.

It appears to me that there is a general perception that good tutorial
material is in short supply. I have followed various tutorials that are
available online and find them less than stellar. I am mostly familiar
with gnu toolchain stuff. I admit that I am biased here because my own
work presents zero requirement for cross-platform builds. So far I find
cmake documentation to be considerably inferior to gnu documentation,
but that's just me.

This all led me to consider purchasing the book Mastering CMake.
However, reviews on Amazon are generally very critical of the book. It
is indeed expensive. Should I bother to shell out for it, or do others
here share this negative evaluation of it? I don't want to waste my money.

Best,

- Jake -


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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

CMake mailing list

Hi DJ,

 

I had the same feeling when I started out with CMake. Tutorials are generally of low quality, and the price of the book is steep. I asked a while back if there would be a digital version of it, that could come cheaper due to the lack of paper and distribution hassle, but Kitware said there is no intent on having a digital copy.

 

CMake however is a fine piece of software (not the best, but it gets the job done with a tolerable amount of frustration), and once you have it mastered, you can get serious *hit done in a matter of minutes. Even without cross-platform, dependency finding is alone worth it, not to mention unit tests built in.

 

As for learning, I would highly suggest reading CMake scripts of other projects, as there are some very nice scripts. SFML’s scripts are easy to read (though get complicated towards the end), and also some FindModule.cmake scripts (FindOpenCL.cmake that ships with CMake starting from version 3.0 is nice) are useful. After reading some scripts, cooking up some of your own isn’t hard.

 

Cheers,

Máté

 

 

 


Feladó: [hidden email]
Elküldve: 2015. december 18., péntek 22:03
Címzett: [hidden email]
Tárgy: [CMake] Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

 

I have only very recently encountered the need to use cmake. It seems

this need came all at once out of the blue.

 

It appears to me that there is a general perception that good tutorial

material is in short supply. I have followed various tutorials that are

available online and find them less than stellar. I am mostly familiar

with gnu toolchain stuff. I admit that I am biased here because my own

work presents zero requirement for cross-platform builds. So far I find

cmake documentation to be considerably inferior to gnu documentation,

but that's just me.

 

This all led me to consider purchasing the book Mastering CMake.

However, reviews on Amazon are generally very critical of the book. It

is indeed expensive. Should I bother to shell out for it, or do others

here share this negative evaluation of it? I don't want to waste my money.

 

Best,

 

- Jake -

 

 

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Kitware offers various services to support the CMake community. For more information on each offering, please visit:

 

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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

Raymond Wan-2
In reply to this post by DJ
Hi Jake,


On Sat, Dec 19, 2015 at 5:02 AM, DJ <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This all led me to consider purchasing the book Mastering CMake. However,
> reviews on Amazon are generally very critical of the book. It is indeed
> expensive. Should I bother to shell out for it, or do others here share this
> negative evaluation of it? I don't want to waste my money.


I've purchased the book (the older edition) and it is fine.  I mean,
I'm a bit old-school and do prefer a printed book.  Online docs seem
more of an excuse to easily swap between reading and a distraction
(i.e. Facebook) -- but that's just me.

Indeed, it is similar to the online manuals.  And those will get
updated with each subsequent version; a book will not (e-book or on
paper).

I had a hard time getting into CMake and the book isn't written like a
tutorial.  I mean, it explains the first few steps and then jumps to a
reference book (I don't have it with me, but this is from memory).  I
guess there is value in having a CMake book that is entirely a
tutorial or even one of "recipes" -- Mastering CMake (as far as I can
remember) isn't that.

For that, you'd probably have to use the Web...

Ray

PS:  I don't regret buying the book.  At the time, I was really stuck
and overwhelmed by the online documentation.  Having it printed made
it a bit easier for me.  Each person learns differently, but skimming
over the Amazon comments, they seem accurate.  Of course, buy the
latest edition if you end up buying.
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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

Tamás Kenéz
In reply to this post by DJ
Jake,
I've read the older edition. Yes, I also think it could be written better and most of the information is available online. Still, it provided me with authorative information, concentrated into a single book, (as opposed to be scattered over the internet). It really helped me to lay down the foundations of my CMake knowledge.
Tamas

On Friday, December 18, 2015, DJ <[hidden email]> wrote:
I have only very recently encountered the need to use cmake. It seems this need came all at once out of the blue.

It appears to me that there is a general perception that good tutorial material is in short supply. I have followed various tutorials that are available online and find them less than stellar. I am mostly familiar with gnu toolchain stuff. I admit that I am biased here because my own work presents zero requirement for cross-platform builds. So far I find cmake documentation to be considerably inferior to gnu documentation, but that's just me.

This all led me to consider purchasing the book Mastering CMake. However, reviews on Amazon are generally very critical of the book. It is indeed expensive. Should I bother to shell out for it, or do others here share this negative evaluation of it? I don't want to waste my money.

Best,

- Jake -


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CMake Support: http://cmake.org/cmake/help/support.html
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DJ
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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

DJ
In reply to this post by DJ
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I think I may be stuck having to learn cmake because several software
libraries that I am starting to use build with cmake.

Based on the feedback, for no I'll pass on the book and see what I can
do by reading online.

One of the things that seems to me to be missing is some kind of quick
description of the overall "theory of cmake". I am a top-down kind of
person, so I really dislike being left with nothing but "here, type this
in" which is what a lot of the web stuff seems to be. A sketch of how it
works conceptually would help me. (Of course, I need examples too.)

Just sayin'.

Best,

- Jake -

On 15-12-18 04:02 PM, DJ wrote:

> I have only very recently encountered the need to use cmake. It seems
> this need came all at once out of the blue.
>
> It appears to me that there is a general perception that good tutorial
> material is in short supply. I have followed various tutorials that
> are available online and find them less than stellar. I am mostly
> familiar with gnu toolchain stuff. I admit that I am biased here
> because my own work presents zero requirement for cross-platform
> builds. So far I find cmake documentation to be considerably inferior
> to gnu documentation, but that's just me.
>
> This all led me to consider purchasing the book Mastering CMake.
> However, reviews on Amazon are generally very critical of the book. It
> is indeed expensive. Should I bother to shell out for it, or do others
> here share this negative evaluation of it? I don't want to waste my
> money.
>
> Best,
>
> - Jake -
>
>

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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

Pau Garcia i Quiles


On Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 11:11 PM, DJ <[hidden email]> wrote:
 

One of the things that seems to me to be missing is some kind of quick description of the overall "theory of cmake". I am a top-down kind of person, so I really dislike being left with nothing but "here, type this in" which is what a lot of the web stuff seems to be. A sketch of how it works conceptually would help me. (Of course, I need examples too.)


It's old but it still gets a few hundreds downloads a month:



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Pau Garcia i Quiles
http://www.elpauer.org
(Due to my workload, I may need 10 days to answer)

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Re: Are the poor reviews of Mastering CMake Justified?

Bruce Stephens
In reply to this post by DJ

On Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 10:11 PM, DJ <[hidden email]> wrote:
One of the things that seems to me to be missing is some kind of quick description of the overall "theory of cmake". I am a top-down kind of person, so I really dislike being left with nothing but "here, type this in" which is what a lot of the web stuff seems to be. A sketch of how it works conceptually would help me. (Of course, I need examples too.)


There's the manages. Specifically cmake-buildsystem(7) and cmake-language(7) (and the others, though those are more reference lists of details).


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