The Genode build system thoroughly examined Aug 22, 2008
In his paper "Empirical Comparison of SCons and GNU Make", Ludwig Hähne pursues the question of which build system to choose for an operating-system project such as ours. For his study, he took the Genode build system as a real-world use case. His results are not only valuable for our particular project but for everyone with an interest in build systems.
For the Genode OS Framework, we consider flexibility, usability, reliability, and scalability of the build infrastructure is crucial. When we started project, we created a custom build infrastructure with a particular focus on developer convenience. The effort already paid off for our daily work. The current implementation relies on GNU Make as back end but we are aware that there exist more modern approaches for building software, in particular there is SCons. In his paper, Ludwig Hähne used the Genode build system as a use case to compare SCons and GNU Make. He replicated our build system for the use of SCons as back end and conducted comprehensive experiments. The empirical results presented in the paper reveal a number of interesting issues, for example the limited scalability of the current Genode build system with regard to parallelism, and the memory consumption of SCons when used for large projects. Download the PDF document...