Aikei Aikei - 3 years ago 200
C Question

cmake include header into every source file

I actually have a simple question, but couldn't find an answer. Maybe you can point me to a duplicate. So, the question is: is it possible to tell cmake to instruct a compiler to automatically include some header at the beginning of every source file, so there would be no need to put #include foo.h?
Thanks!

Answer Source

CMake doesn't have a feature for this specific use case, but as you've hinted, compilers such as GCC have the -include flag which acts as if there was an #include "foo.h" in the source file, and since CMake can pass arguments to compilers, you can do it via add_definitions.

This answer covers what the flag is for GCC, Clang and MSVC which should cover a lot of bases. So in CMake, detect what the compiler is and pass the appropriate flag.

Here's what the CMake code might look like:

if(MSVC)
    add_definitions(/FI"foo.h")
else()
    # GCC or Clang
    add_definitions(-include foo.h)
endif()

Comments

In general, doing this is a bad idea. Code inspection tools (like IDEs, or doxygen) will be confused by it, not to mention other humans looking at the code. If not all source files actually require the definition, adding extra #includes will slow down compile time. If you actually do need the same header (and it's not a system header) in all your source files, it may be symptomatic of high coupling in your code. And for what benefit? Not having to add one line to your files?

However, it's necessary to note that compilers support this for a reason; there are a few weird edge cases (example 1, example 2) where it's a useful thing to do.

Just be aware that you're doing this for the right reasons.

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