5.3. Creating an Xcode project from a .pro file

The MeVisLab macOS edition includes a helper application (called MeVisLabProjectGenerator.app) that registers itself with the macOS Finder as the default handler for .pro files and also provides macOS Services related to .pro files. MeVisLab must be started at least once to perform this registration. Upon that, Xcode projects may be created from .pro files by double-clicking a projects .pro file in a Finder view of its folder. The contextual menu of the Finder’s folder view will also offer two Generate Xcode Project* menu items for a .pro file entry (Figure 5.2, “Generating the Xcode project via the contextual menu of the .pro file in Finder”). Depending on the number of services that offer items for the context menu, these menu items may end up in a separate Services submenu. You may enable or disable these contextual menu items in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard system preferences pane.

Sometimes you may want to inspect diagnostic messages from the project generation process, for instance to detect and to resolve dependency issues of your project. You may either hold down the Option-key while double clicking a .pro file or choose the Generate Xcode Project and Show Messages menu item in Finder or the Services menu to bring up a dialog that displays all messages.

Figure 5.2. Generating the Xcode project via the contextual menu of the .pro file in Finder

Generating the Xcode project via the contextual menu of the .pro file in Finder

To update an existing project from within the running Xcode IDE, Control-click the .pro file in the Project Navigator and choose Open with External Editor from the contextual menu. (Figure 5.3, “Rebuilding the Xcode project from the .pro file within Xcode itself”). This will launch the MeVisLabProjectGenerator.app from within Xcode.

Figure 5.3. Rebuilding the Xcode project from the .pro file within Xcode itself

Rebuilding the Xcode project from the .pro file within Xcode itself

The MeVisLabProjectGenerator.app may be also executed from the command line using the open command line call

open myproject.pro

or by launching the bundle executable directly. Type the following call

…/MeVisLab.app/Contents/Support/MeVisLabProjectGenerator.app/Contents/MacOS/MeVisLabProjectGenerator --help

in the Terminal to see all available options.

The helper application creates separate Xcode projects for release and debug builds. Use the YourProject.xcodeproj Xcode project to build a code optimized version of your module in Release mode. If you wish to inspect your module in Debug mode, you must use the project YourProject_debug.xcodeproj. See Section 5.5, “Debugging MeVisLab modules using Xcode” for further information.

You may also create and open an Xcode project from within MeVisLab via the context menu of a MeVisLab module (Edit Files › myproject.xcodeproj). Since MeVisLab uses some heuristics to locate your project, this entry may not always be included in the menu.