Boost C++ Libraries

...one of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

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Building and Installing the Library

When you extract the library from its zip file, you must preserve its internal directory structure (for example by using the -d option when extracting). If you didn't do that when extracting, then you'd better stop reading this, delete the files you just extracted, and try again!

This library should not need configuring before use; most popular compilers/standard libraries/platforms are already supported "as is". If you do experience configuration problems, or just want to test the configuration with your compiler, then the process is the same as for all of boost; see the configuration library documentation.

The library will encase all code inside namespace boost.

Unlike some other template libraries, this library consists of a mixture of template code (in the headers) and static code and data (in cpp files). Consequently it is necessary to build the library's support code into a library or archive file before you can use it, instructions for specific platforms are as follows:

Building with bjam

This is now the preferred method for building and installing this library, please refer to the getting started guide for more information.

Building With Unicode and ICU Support

Boost.Regex is now capable of performing a configuration check to test whether ICU is already installed in your compiler's search paths. When you build you should see a message like this:

Performing configuration checks

    - has_icu builds           : yes

Whick means that ICU has been found, and support for it will be enabled in the library build.

[Tip] Tip

If you don't want the regex library to use ICU then build with the "--disable-icu" command line option.

If instead you see:

Performing configuration checks

    - has_icu builds           : no

Then ICU was not found and support for it will not be compiled into the library. If you think that it should have been found, then you will need to take a look at the contents of the file boost-root/bin.v2/config.log for the actual error messages obtained when the build carried out the configuration check. You will then need to fix these errors by ensuring your compiler gets invoked with the correct options, for example:

bjam include=some-include-path --toolset=toolset-name install

will add "some-include-path" to your compilers header include path, or if ICU has been built with non-standard names for it's binaries, then:

bjam -sICU_LINK="linker-options-for-icu" --toolset=toolset-name install

Will use "linker-options-for-icu" when linking the library rather than the default ICU binary names.

You might also need to use the options "cxxflags-option" and "linkflags-option" to set compiler and linker specific options.

[Important] Important

Configuration results are cached - if you try rebuilding with different compiler options then add an "-a" to the bjam command line to force all targets to be rebuilt.

If ICU is not already in your compiler's path, but instead headers, libraries and binaries are located at path-to-icu/include, path-to-icu/lib and path-to-icu/bin respectively then you need to set the environment variable ICU_PATH to point to the root directory of your ICU installation: this typically happens if you're building with MSVC. For example if ICU was installed to c:\download\icu you might use:

bjam -sICU_PATH=c:\download\icu --toolset=toolset-name install
[Important] Important

ICU is a C++ library just like Boost is, as such your copy of ICU must have been built with the same C++ compiler (and compiler version) that you are using to build Boost. Boost.Regex will not work correctly unless you ensure that this is the case: it is up to you to ensure that the version of ICU you are using is binary compatible with the toolset you use to build Boost.

Building via makefiles
Borland C++ Builder:
make -fbcb5.mak

The build process will build a variety of .lib and .dll files (the exact number depends upon the version of Borland's tools you are using) the .lib and dll files will be in a sub-directory called bcb4 or bcb5 depending upon the makefile used. To install the libraries into your development system use:

make -fbcb5.mak install

library files will be copied to <BCROOT>/lib and the dll's to <BCROOT>/bin, where <BCROOT> corresponds to the install path of your Borland C++ tools.

You may also remove temporary files created during the build process (excluding lib and dll files) by using:

make -fbcb5.mak clean

Finally when you use Boost.Regex it is only necessary for you to add the <boost> root director to your list of include directories for that project. It is not necessary for you to manually add a .lib file to the project; the headers will automatically select the correct .lib file for your build mode and tell the linker to include it. There is one caveat however: the library can not tell the difference between VCL and non-VCL enabled builds when building a GUI application from the command line, if you build from the command line with the 5.5 command line tools then you must define the pre-processor symbol _NO_VCL in order to ensure that the correct link libraries are selected: the C++ Builder IDE normally sets this automatically. Hint, users of the 5.5 command line tools may want to add a -D_NO_VCL to bcc32.cfg in order to set this option permanently.

If you would prefer to do a dynamic link to the regex libraries when using the dll runtime then define BOOST_REGEX_DYN_LINK (you must do this if you want to use Boost.Regex in multiple dll's), otherwise Boost.Regex will be statically linked by default.

If you want to suppress automatic linking altogether (and supply your own custom build of the lib) then define BOOST_REGEX_NO_LIB.

If you are building with C++ Builder 6, you will find that <boost/regex.hpp> can not be used in a pre-compiled header (the actual problem is in <locale> which gets included by <boost/regex.hpp>), if this causes problems for you, then try defining BOOST_NO_STD_LOCALE when building, this will disable some features throughout boost, but may save you a lot in compile times!

Microsoft Visual C++ 6, 7, 7.1 and 8

You need version 6 or later of MSVC to build this library. If you are using VC5 then you may want to look at one of the previous releases of this library.

Open up a command prompt, which has the necessary MSVC environment variables defined (for example by using the batch file Vcvars32.bat installed by the Visual Studio installation), and change to the <boost>\libs\regex\build directory.

Select the correct makefile - vc6.mak for "vanilla" Visual C++ 6 or vc6-stlport.mak if you are using STLPort.

Invoke the makefile like this:

nmake -fvc6.mak

You will now have a collection of lib and dll files in a "vc6" subdirectory, to install these into your development system use:

nmake -fvc6.mak install

The lib files will be copied to your <VC6>\lib directory and the dll files to <VC6>\bin, where <VC6> is the root of your Visual C++ 6 installation.

You can delete all the temporary files created during the build (excluding lib and dll files) using:

nmake -fvc6.mak clean 

If you want to build with ICU support, then you need to pass the path to your ICU directory to the makefile, for example with:

nmake ICU_PATH=c:\open-source\icu -fvc71.mak install

Finally when you use Boost.Regex it is only necessary for you to add the <boost> root directory to your list of include directories for that project. It is not necessary for you to manually add a .lib file to the project; the headers will automatically select the correct .lib file for your build mode and tell the linker to include it.

Note that if you want to dynamically link to the regex library when using the dynamic C++ runtime, define BOOST_REGEX_DYN_LINK when building your project.

If you want to add the source directly to your project then define BOOST_REGEX_NO_LIB to disable automatic library selection.

There are several important caveats to remember when using Boost.Regex with Microsoft's Compiler:

GCC(2.95 and later)

You can build with gcc using the normal boost Jamfile in <boost>/libs/regex/build, alternatively there is a conservative makefile for the g++ compiler. From the command prompt change to the <boost>/libs/regex/build directory and type:

make -fgcc.mak 

At the end of the build process you should have a gcc sub-directory containing release and debug versions of the library (libboost_regex.a and libboost_regex_debug.a). When you build projects that use regex++, you will need to add the boost install directory to your list of include paths and add <boost>/libs/regex/build/gcc/libboost_regex.a to your list of library files.

There is also a makefile to build the library as a shared library:

make -fgcc-shared.mak

which will build libboost_regex.so and libboost_regex_debug.so.

Both of the these makefiles support the following environment variables:

ICU_PATH: tells the makefile to build with Unicode support, set to the path where your ICU installation is located, for example with: make ICU_PATH=/usr/local install -fgcc.mak

CXXFLAGS: extra compiler options - note that this applies to both the debug and release builds.

INCLUDES: additional include directories.

LDFLAGS: additional linker options.

LIBS: additional library files.

For the more adventurous there is a configure script in <boost>/libs/config; see the config library documentation.

Sun Workshop 6.1

There is a makefile for the sun (6.1) compiler (C++ version 3.12). From the command prompt change to the <boost>/libs/regex/build directory and type:

dmake -f sunpro.mak 

At the end of the build process you should have a sunpro sub-directory containing single and multithread versions of the library (libboost_regex.a, libboost_regex.so, libboost_regex_mt.a and libboost_regex_mt.so). When you build projects that use Boost.Regex, you will need to add the boost install directory to your list of include paths and add <boost>/libs/regex/build/sunpro/ to your library search path.

Both of the these makefiles support the following environment variables:

CXXFLAGS: extra compiler options - note that this applies to both the single and multithreaded builds.

INCLUDES: additional include directories.

LDFLAGS: additional linker options.

LIBS: additional library files.

LIBSUFFIX: a suffix to mangle the library name with (defaults to nothing).

This makefile does not set any architecture specific options like -xarch=v9, you can set these by defining the appropriate macros, for example:

dmake CXXFLAGS="-xarchv9" LDFLAGS"-xarchv9" LIBSUFFIX"_v9" -f sunpro.mak

will build v9 variants of the regex library named libboost_regex_v9.a etc.

Makefiles for Other compilers

There is a generic makefile (generic.mak ) provided in <boost-root>/libs/regex/build - see that makefile for details of environment variables that need to be set before use.


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