May 26, 2018

Tool that generates a compilation database for clang tooling

Bear is a tool that generates a compilation database for clang tooling. The JSON compilation database is used in the clang project to provide information on how a single compilation unit is processed. With this, it is easy to re-run the compilation with alternate programs. One way to get a compilation database is to use cmake as the build tool. Passing -DCMAKE_EXPORT_COMPILE_COMMANDS=ON to cmake generates the compile_commands.json file into the current directory. For non-cmake projects, Bear generates the JSON file during the build process.

The concept behind Bear is to execute the original build command and intercept the exec calls issued by the build tool. To achieve that, Bear uses the LD_PRELOAD or DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES mechanisms provided by the dynamic linker.

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