Waf, previously known as BKsys, is a compltely free and open source command-line software, a framework implemented in Python and designed from the offset to allow users to effortlessly configure, compile and install applications under a GNU/Linux operating system.
Inspired by the SCons build system
The software is inspired by SCons and it replaces the entire GNU autotool chain, which includes the automake, aclocal, autoconf, autoheader, make and libtool tools. It features various examples, including KDE, OCaml and Qt sample applications.
Features at a glance
The software has several features, among which we can mention support for objective-caml, support for GNOME applications, fast rescan for incremental builds, coloured kernel-like output, object-oriented target declaration, and automatic build order.
In addition, it comes with automatic dependencies functionality, performance improvements, support for various IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software, such as Eclipse, Xcode and Visual Studio, and great Python compatibility (Pypy, Jython 2.5, cPython 2.5 to 3.4 and IronPython).
Getting started with Waf
From time to time, you will find an application that requires the Waf build system for compilation purposes. So installing the Waf program in your GNU/Linux operating system is not a bad idea. To get started, download the latest release from Softpedia and save it on your Home directory.
Uncompress the archive with an archive manager utility, open a Terminal app, move to the location where you’ve extracted the archive file (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/waf-1.8.5) and run the ‘./configure’ command to configure the program, which can be used directly from the source dir.
Execute the ‘./waf --help’ command to view available command-line options and the usage message. There are numerous command-line options, organized in two main categories: main commands and options (configuration options, build and installation options, step options, installation and uninstallation options, Python options).