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Houlder Technologies


Tutorial 2: Projects and files
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In the previous tutorial Chic automatically found the include directives and forward declarations needed to produce a self-consistent header file. In this section we'll look at how to set up Chic so that it finds the correct dependencies.

Selecting the files

At any time Chic works on one project. Each project is composed of a number of hic-files and header files. These files can either be individually selected or they can be indicated as all the files with certain suffixes in a given directory. If you click on the menu button "Edit->Project files" in the GUI, the project files widget will pop up showing the files in the current directory. By right clicking a file or directory you can select or unselect it. If you select a directory you effectively select all the files in that directory which have a suffix that's a predefined suffix for either hic-files or header files. That's the simplest and the most common way to set up a project. Selecting individual files is not often necessary other than when selecting the C++ standard files. There are also other more advanced selection criteria available.

You can select both header files and hic-files. Normally you only select headers that have not been generated from a hic-file. When you have a hic-file you select that instead. If you select both the hic-file and the header that was generated from it, Chic will figure this out and use the hic-file.

Updating the database

After selecting the files, it's time to extract the necessary information from them. Clicking on the menu item "Actions->Update all" tells Chic to scan all selected files and put the information it needs into the database.

During the scan Chic follows the include directives it encounters in order to expand macros. It searches for files in the directories specified by a path parameter. As most parameters in Chic, the path parameter can be specified for the whole project, the files in a given directory or for individual files. The parameters section describes Chic's parameter model. There you also find documentation of other parameters that can be used to control the update.

If Chic can't find an #included file, it simply ignores it. As long as the missing file does not define or alter macros that are needed for subsequent parsing, this is harmless.

The time a full update takes depends of course on how many files that are selected. But the number of files that are included from these is equally important. Anyway, for a few dozens of files it shouldn't take too many seconds on an average PC.

Further updates

That's actually all there is to setting up the database. If you wish, you can add or remove files from the database by selecting or unselecting files and subsequently tell Chic to update the whole database or only the part that changed. If you alter the file system by for example removing or adding files you can tell Chic to update itself on the part that was modified. When you generate compile files from a hic-file, Chic automatically updates its view of that file so it's not often you need to explicitly tell Chic to perform an update.

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