When you create a new project, the first thing to describe is how to find the corresponding source files. This is the only settings that are needed by all the tools that will use this project (builder, compiler, binder and linker for the compilation, IDEs to edit the source files,...).
First step is to declare the source directories, which are the directories to be searched to find source files. In the case of the example, the common directory is the only source directory.
There are several ways of defining source directories:
The syntax for directories is platform specific. For portability, however, the project manager will always properly translate UNIX-like path names to the native format of specific platform. For instance, when the same project file is to be used both on Unix and Windows, "/" should be used as the directory separator rather than "\".
It is often desirable to remove, from the source directories, directory subtrees rooted at some subdirectories. An example is the subdirectories created by a Version Control System such as Subversion that creates directory subtrees rooted at subdirectories ".svn". To do that, attribute Ignore_Source_Sub_Dirs can be used. It specifies the list of simple file names for the roots of these undesirable directory subtrees.
for Source_Dirs use ("./**"); for Ignore_Source_Sub_Dirs use (".svn");
When applied to the simple example, and because we generally prefer to have the project file at the toplevel directory rather than mixed with the sources, we will create the following file
build.gpr project Build is for Source_Dirs use ("common"); -- <<<< end Build;
Once source directories have been specified, one may need to indicate source files of interest. By default, all source files present in the source directories are considered by the project manager. When this is not desired, it is possible to specify the list of sources to consider explicitly. In such a case, only source file base names are indicated and not their absolute or relative path names. The project manager is in charge of locating the specified source files in the specified source directories.
Since the project manager was initially developed for Ada environments, the default language is usually Ada and the above project file is complete: it defines without ambiguity the sources composing the project: that is to say, all the sources in subdirectory "common" for the default language (Ada) using the default naming convention.
However, when compiling a multi-language application, or a pure C application, the project manager must be told which languages are of interest, which is done by setting the Languages attribute to a list of strings, each of which is the name of a language. Tools like gnatmake only know about Ada, while other tools like gprbuild know about many more languages such as C, C++, Fortran, assembly and others can be added dynamically.
Even when using only Ada, the default naming might not be suitable. Indeed, how does the project manager recognizes an "Ada file" from any other file? Project files can describe the naming scheme used for source files, and override the default (see Naming Schemes). The default is the standard GNAT extension (.adb for bodies and .ads for specs), which is what is used in our example, explaining why no naming scheme is explicitly specified. See Naming Schemes.
Source_FilesIn some cases, source directories might contain files that should not be included in a project. One can specify the explicit list of file names to be considered through the Source_Files attribute. When this attribute is defined, instead of looking at every file in the source directories, the project manager takes only those names into consideration reports errors if they cannot be found in the source directories or does not correspond to the naming scheme.
(). Alternatively, Source_Dirs can be set to the empty list, with the same result.
Source_List_FileIf there is a great number of files, it might be more convenient to use the attribute Source_List_File, which specifies the full path of a file. This file must contain a list of source file names (one per line, no directory information) that are searched as if they had been defined through Source_Files. Such a file can easily be created through external tools.
A warning is issued if both attributes
Source_List_File are given explicit values. In this case, the
Excluded_Source_FilesSpecifying an explicit list of files is not always convenient.It might be more convenient to use the default search rules with specific exceptions. This can be done thanks to the attribute Excluded_Source_Files (or its synonym Locally_Removed_Files). Its value is the list of file names that should not be taken into account. This attribute is often used when extending a project, See Project Extension. A similar attribute Excluded_Source_List_File plays the same role but takes the name of file containing file names similarly to
In most simple cases, such as the above example, the default source file search
behavior provides the expected result, and we do not need to add anything after
Source_Dirs. The project manager automatically finds
pack.ads, pack.adb and proc.adb as source files of the
Note that by default a warning is issued when a project has no sources attached to it and this is not explicitly indicated in the project file.