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4 Aggregate projects

Up to now, all examples consisted of projects in a single directory, using a single GNUmakefile. Aggregate projects allow you to have a number of projects in different directories.

As an example, suppose that you are writing a networked game. Your source code might contain two main projects to build: a gui application (the game client) and a command line tool (the server). Naturally enough, you want to develop and distribute the two subprojects together, but they are big enough that you want to keep them in separate directories. This is where GNUstep aggregate projects come handy.

Imagine that your game is called MyGame. You will have a top-level directory

and two subdirectories
In MyGame/Server you keep the source code of your server tool, with its own GNUmakefile. In MyGame/Client you keep the source code of your client application, with its own GNUmakefile.

You can now you add the following GNUmakefile in the top-level directory:

include $(GNUSTEP_MAKEFILES)/common.make


SUBPROJECTS = Server Client

include $(GNUSTEP_MAKEFILES)/aggregate.make
This GNUmakefile simply tells to the make package that your project consists of two aggregate subprojects, Server, and Client. Please note that the make package follows the order you specify, so in this case Server is always compiled before Client (this could be important if one of your subprojects is a library, and another subproject is an application which needs to be linked against that library: then, you always want the library to be compiled before the application, so the library should come before the application in the list of subprojects).

In this example, we have two aggregate subprojects, but you can have any number of aggregate subprojects.

At this point you are ready. Typing

in the top-level directory will cause the make package to step into the Server subdirectory, and run make there, and then step into the Client subdirectory, and run make there.

The same will work with all the standard make commands, such as make clean, make distclean, make install etc.

Aggregate subprojects can be nested, so that for example the Server project could be itself composed of subprojects.

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