[Mono-dev] Altering our build system.

Mike Edenfield kutulu at kutulu.org
Sun May 23 10:10:42 EDT 2010

On 5/20/2010 2:37 PM, Jonathan Chambers wrote:
> I've been looking at a MSBuild based build for the class libs (based upon
> Jonathan Pobst's MonkeyBuilder). To actually make the projects usable in
> visual studio, they need to be one of a list of well known project types.
> While MSBuild can handle an arbitrary .proj file with arbitrary MSBuild
> tasks, to build inside VS you would need to use a .csproj. Currently, I have
> a build basically working using a .proj file with custom MSBuild tasks that
> mirror what MonkeyBuilder does (which mirrors the auto* based build). csproj
> files could be used, but it raises a few questions:

You can insert arbitrary Xml into a .csproj and VS will 
maintain it there intact.  (This works, at least, for 
top-level children of the <Project> node.)  MSBuild will 
process the Xml as build commands when it loads your project 
file.  So, for example, you can add additional <Import> 
nodes into the projects to pull in custom Mono targets files 
to do some of the following things.

> 1. Can we build using either .Net compilers or mono compilers?

The basic definitions for the build are in the file 
Microsoft.CSharp.targets in the Framework directory; from a 
quick glance over the <CoreCompile> target, you can set the 
CscToolExe and CscToolPath variables to whatever you want.

> 2. Is there the concept of make and make install (building class libs versus
> installing them in some location)?

There is a concept of post-build execution; it's not exactly 
the same as 'make install' but that's typically what I've 
used it for.  You do this by creating a post-build event 
hook as shown here:


> 3. Running unit tests

This one is a bit trickier; I've never done it outside of 
using TFSBuild, which has a custom task for it.  But I would 
assume you could just launch mstest.exe from a post-build 
event, or create a custom Mono target that wraps the logic up.


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