Common C++ classes and routines used by my applications such as argument parser, IO and conversion utilities
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C++ utilities

Useful C++ classes and routines such as argument parser, IO and conversion utilities.


The library utilizes:

  • parsing command-line arguments and providing Bash completion
    • supports nested arguments
    • supports operations (no -- or - prefix, eg. git status)
    • can check for invalid or uncombinable arguments
    • can print help automatically
    • provides automatic Bash completion for argument names
    • allows customizing Bash completion for argument values
  • dealing with dates and times
  • conversion of primitive data types to byte-buffers and vice versa (litte-endian and big-endian)
  • common string conversions/operations, eg.
    • character set conversions via iconv
    • split, join, find and replace
    • conversion from number to string and vice verca
    • encoding/decoding base-64
    • building string without multiple heap allocations ("string builder")
  • IO
    • reading/writing primitive data types of various sizes (little-endian and big-endian)
    • reading/writing terminated strings and size-prefixed strings
    • reading/writing INI files
    • reading bitwise
    • writing formatted output using ANSI escape sequences
  • using SFINAE by providing additional traits, eg. for checking whether a type is iteratable
  • testing with CppUnit
    • finding testfiles and make working copies of testfiles
    • assert standard output
    • various helper
  • building with CMake by providing some modules and templates

Besides, the library provides a few useful algorithms and data structures:

  • min(), max() for any number of arguments
  • digitsum(), factorial(), powerModulo(), inverseModulo(), orderModulo()
  • Damerau–Levenshtein distance
  • N-dimensional array

Build instructions


Build-only dependencies

  • C++ compiler supporting C++14, tested with
    • clang++ to compile for GNU/Linux and MacOS X
    • g++ to compile for GNU/Linux and Windows
  • CMake (at least 3.3.0)
  • cppunit for unit tests (optional)
  • Doxygen for API documentation (optional)
  • Graphviz for diagrams in the API documentation (optional)
  • clang-format for tidying (optional)
  • llvm-profdata, llvm-cov and cppunit for source-based code coverage analysis (optional)

Runtime dependencies

  • The c++utilities library itself only needs
    • C++ standard library supporting C++14, tested with
      • libstdc++ under GNU/Linux, Windows and MacOS X
      • libc++ under GNU/Linux
    • iconv (might be part of glibc or provided as extra library)
  • For dependencies of my other projects check the of these projects.

How to build

Just run:

cd "path/to/build/directory"
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
      -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/final/install/location" \
make tidy # format source files (optional, must be enabled via CLANG_FORMAT_ENABLED)
make check # build and run tests (optional)
make coverage # build and run tests measuring test coverage (optional, must be enabled via CLANG_SOURCE_BASED_COVERAGE_ENABLED)
make apidoc # build API documentation (optional)
make DESTDIR="/temporary/install/location" install

General notes

  • The make option -j can be used for concurrent compilation.
  • LIB_SUFFIX, LIB_SUFFIX_32 and LIB_SUFFIX_64 can be set to specify a suffix for the library directory, eg. lib64 or lib32. The 32/64 variants are only used when building for 32/64-bit architecture.
  • By default the build system will build shared libs. To build also static libraries, set ENABLE_STATIC_LIBS=ON. To disable building shared libs set DISABLE_SHARED_LIBS=ON.
  • By default the build system will prefer linking against shared libraries. To force linking against static libraries set STATIC_LINKAGE=ON. However, this will only affect applications. To force linking statically when building shared libraries set STATIC_LIBRARY_LINKAGE=ON.
  • For more detailed documentation, see the documentation about build variables (in directory doc and in Doxygen version accessible via "Related Pages").
  • The repository PKGBUILDs contains build scripts for GNU/Linux, Windows and MacOS X in form of Arch Linux packages. These scripts can be used as an example also when building under another platform.

Building for Windows

  • Building for Windows with GCC as cross compiler and mingw-w64 can be simplified by using a small Cmake wrapper and a custom toolchain file:

    ${_arch}-cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/final/install/location" "path/to/source/directory"
    make DESTDIR="/temporary/install/location" install-mingw-w64-strip
  • To create the *.ico file for the application icon ffmpeg/avconv is required.

  • The target install-mingw-w64-strip can be used as in the example above to only install files suitable for creating a cross-compiler package and additionally strip the binaries.

Building for MacOS X

Development builds

During development I find it useful to build all required projects (for instace c++utilities, qtutilities, tagparser and tageditor) as one big project.

This can be easily achieved by using CMake's add_subdirectory() function. For project files see the repository subdirs. For an example, see build instructions for Syncthing Tray.

For a debug build, just use -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug.

Arch Linux package

The repository PKGBUILDs contains files for building Arch Linux packages.

PKGBUILD files to cross compile for Windows using mingw-w64 and for MacOS X using osxcross are also included.

RPM packages for openSUSE

RPM *.spec files can be found at openSUSE Build Servide. Packages are available for x86_64, aarch64 and armv7l. Since GCC provided by Leap is too old, only Tumbleweed packages are up-to-date.


Packages are provided by perfect7gentleman; checkout his repository.


Scripts to build with Cygwin are provided by svnpenn. Checkout his repository.

General notes

  • There is a workaround for GCC Bug 66145 provided in io/catchiofailure.h.