Thread: Need tips for working on Open Source projects for Linux

  1. #1
    Old Fashioned
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    Nov 2016
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    Question Need tips for working on Open Source projects for Linux

    I'm not new to C or Linux. However, most of the projects I've worked on were either my own or at work. In both scenarios, I have full control over the build system used and/or can easily get help.

    However, take for example this library: GitHub - liblouis/liblouis: Open-source braille translator and back-translator.

    Say I want to contribute, or at least play with the library. I usually use CLion in my projects, which can work with CMake files. However, if I simply clone that repository and open it in CLion, CLion does not properly parse everything and it ends up being a big mess that I can't really build or debug/run for example.

    I know that many of these linux projects follow a pattern to INSTALL like this:

    1. ./configure
    2. ./make
    3. ./make install

    However, this builds the binaries which doesn't help me if I want to work with the codebase in an IDE or do source-level debugging for example. Are there any generic tips on working on open-source linux projects or do they pretty much all vary on a case-by-case basis and nobody else could just go to that library and get it working with their IDE/editor quickly either?
    If I was homeless and jobless, I would take my laptop to a wifi source and write C for fun all day. It's the same thing I enjoy now!

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    For the project listed see liblouis/HACKING at master * liblouis/liblouis * GitHub

    To develop using the IDE you want requires extra work and knowledge of your IDE, version control, and project native build system.

    your IDE: CLion
    version control: git
    native build system: Automake (configure/make)

    I have no idea if CLion support building with third party makefiles; if it does that might be a way to go.

    Tim S.
    "...a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are,in short, a perfect match.." Bill Bryson

  3. #3
    Old Fashioned
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    Nov 2016
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    stahta01,

    Thanks for your guidance. I extracted two main pieces of information from your post:

    1) Do a more thorough job of reading the provided documentation, help, and readme files.

    2) If I can intercept/modify the "make" step, I can probably at least instruct the build system to build with debug symbols. Also, I found this which was helpful thanks to you: Using local makefile for CLion instead of CMake - Stack Overflow
    If I was homeless and jobless, I would take my laptop to a wifi source and write C for fun all day. It's the same thing I enjoy now!

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