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Waf is a Python-based framework for configuring, compiling and installing applications. Here are perhaps the most important features of Waf:

  • Automatic build order: the build order is computed from input and output files, among others
  • Automatic dependencies: tasks to execute are detected by hashing files and commands
  • Performance: tasks are executed in parallel automatically, the startup time is meant to be fast (separation between configuration and build)
  • Flexibility: new commands and tasks can be added very easily through subclassing, bottlenecks for specific builds can be eliminated through dynamic method replacement
  • Extensibility: though many programming languages and compilers are already supported by default, many others are available as extensions
  • IDE support: Eclipse, Visual Studio and Xcode project generators (waflib/extras/)
  • Documentation: the application is based on a robust model documented in The Waf book and in the API docs
  • Python compatibility: cPython 2.4 to 3.4, Jython 2.5, IronPython, and Pypy

Waf is used in particular by innovative companies such as Avalanche studios. In the open-source world, Waf is used by a few projects such as Samba. Learn more about Waf by reading The Waf book.

For researchers and build system writers, Waf is also a framework for creating custom build systems and package distribution systems

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