This extension helps to bridge a gap between 2 great extensions:
CMake Tools Helper enables cpptools to automatically know the information parsed by CMake Tools (such as include directories and defines) and use it to provide auto-completion, go to definition, etc.
In addition to that, this extension tries to reduce "friction" when using CMake by implementing convenient features. (e.g. managing multiple CMake versions)
- Automatically updates cpptools'
c_cpp_properties.json with the current CMake target's information (build type, include directories and defines)
- Automatically updates cpptools' active configuration to match CMake Tools' active configuration and target
- CMake downloader and version manager
- Install any version of CMake from the comfort of your favorite editor! (command
CMake: Install CMake)
- Multiple versions can be installed
- You can switch between different versions of CMake at any time (command
CMake: Change CMake version)
- This extension can automatically update CMake Tools' parameters (i.e. "CMake Path" and "Use CMake Server") after installing or changing the CMake version
- CMake Tools with
cmake.useCMakeServer set to
true. (i.e. CMake >= v3.7.2) Don't worry if you don't have CMake: You can simply execute
CMake: Install CMake, this extension will take care of the rest ;)
- cpptools (please note that this extension has to overwrite the content of
TL;DR: I just want to open a CMake-based project and immediately start coding without configuring anything in VSCode. (Ok, maybe execute a "CMake configure", but that's all!)
In order to provide some its features, cpptools relies on a JSON file (
c_cpp_properties.json) that contains project-related information such as include paths and defines.
At the same time, CMake Tools parses the project's CMake files and extracts all the information that is needed to build it (e.g. compiler flags, includes, defines, etc.) and stores it in another JSON file. (
Currently, (I mean... before this extension was released :wink: ) there is no way for cpptools to automatically benefit from what CMake Tools knows -- i.e. The users have to manually copy the include paths and defines from their CMake files (or CMake Tools'
Having found nothing to do the above automatically, I decided to create this extension!
Please note that discussions were started at https://github.com/vector-of-bool/vscode-cmake-tools/issues/22 and https://github.com/Microsoft/vscode-cpptools/issues/156 to try to address the issue, but AFAIK there is nothing concrete yet.
Another issue when wanting to use CMake, ~~lazy~~ users (such as myself ;) ) usually find themselves stuck with outdated versions of CMake. This extension tries to alleviate the "pain" of getting the latest version from cmake.com/download by proposing to download, extract and enable any version of CMake directly from VS Code.
How Does It Work
TL;DR: Ugly hacks, sweat and tears :)
A combination of:
vscode.extensions.getExtension("vector-of-bool.cmake-tools").exports: is the CMake Tools extension API. It allows getting the name of the currently-selected build target as well as the list of valid CMake configurations. Currently, CMake Tools provides 2 implementations:
- legacy: compatible with CMake <= 3.7.1 and does not use CMake Server. It does provide a per-file information (as opposed to per-targte compilation info)
- client: compatible with CMake > 3.7.1 and uses CMake Server. It provides a "code model" that provides per-target compilation information
CMake Tools Helper uses the "client" implementation and therefore requires the
cmake.useCMakeServer setting to be
Event listeners: CMake Tools API >= 0.9.5 provides the following events:
CMake Tools Helper uses them in order to be notified when the configuration and/or the default build target changes
Each time CMake Tools Helper is notified, the following happens:
- CMake Tools Helper
- Gets the current configuration and target name from CMake Tools
- Overrides the content of
c_cpp_properties.json using the information from step 1
- VSCode notifies cpptools that
c_cpp_properties.json has changed (as of cpptools v0.11.2 has a file watcher on it)
- Finds a single configuration (the one that mirrors CMake Tools' current configuration)
- Uses this configuration as the active one
- Generates all bells and whistles for your C or C++ project
Managing CMake Versions
- The list of available CMake versions is obtained from github.com/Kitware/CMake/releases
- When a user chooses a version to download/install, CMake Tools Helper tries to find a precompiled version in cmake.org/files
- If an "exact match" is found (e.g. a 64bit version of CMake for Linux 64bit) it is downloaded and extracted
- Otherwise, we try to find an "approximate match" (e.g. 32bit CMake for a 64bit Linux)
- Different versions can be installed simultaneously. Users, when a user "changes" the currently used version of CMake, this extension sets
Limitations / Known Issues
- In order to force cpptools to use CMake Tools' current configuration, at any given point in time, only that configuration is present in
c_cpp_properties.json. This is a workaround to the fact that cpptools doesn't export any API that other extensions could use to interact with it. This particular solution was inspired by the implementation of
- CMake's extra targets (e.g.
ZERO_CHECK, etc...) are not handled and selecting them results in a
null configuration in
c_cpp_properties.json (if you have ideas on what to do when those targets are selected, please feel free to open an issue at github.com/maddouri/vscode-cmake-tools-helper/issues, I'll see what I can do ;)
- I use and test this extension exclusively in an up-to-date version of VSCode Insiders
- Currently, the extension allows downloading precompiled versions of CMake. I could perhaps add the option to download the sources and compile them if a precompiled version is not found...
Any contribution (feature requests, bug fixes, questions, ideas on how to make things better, etc.) is WELCOME !
Just head to github.com/maddouri/vscode-cmake-tools-helper ;)