Building third party libraries for the COLLADA DOM

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Revision as of 13:40, 4 September 2008 by Kex347 (talk | contribs) (minizip on linux)
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The COLLADA DOM uses several third-party libraries. This document explains how to rebuild these libraries for each of the supported platforms. This is intended more for the COLLADA DOM maintainers than DOM users. Because all the third party libraries necessary to build the DOM on a particular platform are provided in the external-libs folder, most users shouldn't need to rebuild these libraries.


Release vs. Debug

It's not expected that you'll debug the third-party libs via the DOM, so the DOM provides release builds of only the third party libs. It's expected that you'll link both the release and debug versions of your application against the release version of these libs.

However, in some cases, Visual Studio has problems linking a debug version of an application against a release version of a library (in some cases it works fine). When Visual Studio doesn't like linking the release version of one of these libs into the debug version of an application, we also provide a debug version of the lib. Currently this is necessary for PCRE and Boost filesystem. When we need to provide a debug lib, we strip the debug info from the build to reduce download size.

If you actually need to debug into one of the third-party libs for some reason, you'll need to provide your own debug build and rebuild the DOM to link against it.

PS3 host system

The instructions for building PS3 libs should work with either Linux or Windows as the host system.


Visual Studio

Download the libxml source. We're currently using version 2.6.32. We also build with zlib support, so you'll need to download that, too. We don't need the source, just the headers and libs, and Igor Zlatkovic provides the appropriate files for Windows.

When built with Visual Studio, libxml tends to be forward compatible with later versions of Visual Studio, so, for maximal compatibility, we build with VS 2003, which is the oldest version of Visual Studio that we care about. Libxml doesn't use .vcproj and .sln files; it's built from the command line. Open a command prompt and enable usage of VS2003 from the command line by running

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\Vc7\bin\vcvars32.bat"

Now navigate to the win32 folder in libxml. Run "cscript configure.js help" to get a listing of all the build options. For our build, we want to disable iconv and enable zlib. Enabling zlib support in libxml allows the DOM to transparently load zlib or gzip compressed files. Execute these commands:

cscript configure.js iconv=no zlib=yes include=c:/zlib-1.2.3.win32/include lib=c:/zlib-1.2.3.win32/lib
nmake /f Makefile.msvc

The "include" and "lib" options tell libxml where to find third-party libraries, specifically zlib in our case. Adjust the paths to point to wherever you installed zlib. Once you run those commands, you'll have both static lib and DLL versions of libxml in <libxml>/win32/bin.msvc.

Linux and Mac

On Linux and Mac, we just use the stock libxml that comes with the system, so we don't need to worry about building it ourselves.


First we need to build zlib. Download the zlib 1.2.3 source, then open a shell and run the following commands.

cd <zlib>
./configure && make
make install prefix=<zlib>/install

Now download libxml 2.6.32 and run these commands.

cd <libxml>
./configure --with-zlib=c:/zlib/install --without-libiconv --disable-shared --disable-dependency-tracking
strip -g <libxml>.libs/libxml2.a

The strip command removes the debug info from the library. The output is <libxml>/.libs/libxml2.a


On PS3, we use TinyXml for XML parsing instead of libxml. It's possible to get libxml building on PS3, but we don't need it for now.


The DOM has been tested with TinyXml version 2.5.3, released on May 6th 2007. The only platform that actually requires TinyXml usage is the PS3.

In the DOM TinyXml plug-in, we don't use any of the STL features of TinyXml, so you don't need to include STL support in the TinyXml build.

Visual Studio

Download TinyXml. It comes with Visual Studio .sln files for building. Make sure to set the runtime library to multithreaded DLL in the release build and multithreaded debug DLL in the debug build.

Linux, MinGW

Download TinyXml and copy the makefile from <dom-path>/external-libs/tinyxml/build to the TinyXml folder you downloaded. Then open a shell and go to the TinyXml path and run "make". The output lib file is linux/libtinyxml.a.


The makefile for Linux and PS3 could be trivially adapted to build a Mac universal binary lib, but that hasn't been necessary, so currently the TinyXml DOM plug-in isn't supported on Mac.


Same as Linux, except run "make platform=ps3". The output lib file is ps3/libtinyxml.a.


The DOM uses PCRE 7.6. All platforms require PCRE.

Visual Studio

PCRE comes with CMake files so you can generate the appropriate build files for Visual Studio. You need to build separate libs for each supported version of Visual Studio, as they're not compatible. Also, debug builds are needed for PCRE. Remember to disable debug info in the debug project settings.


On Linux, it's expected that your distro will provide PCRE development files. If not, the PCRE documentation explains how to build PCRE for a Linux system.


On Mac we want to build a universal binary, so the default build for Unix systems needs to be tweaked a bit. Download and extract PCRE 7.6 and open a terminal.

cd <pcre>
mkdir mac && cd mac
CXXFLAGS="-O2 -arch i386 -arch ppc" CFLAGS="-O2 -arch i386 -arch ppc" LDFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch ppc" ../configure

The output is <pcre>/mac/.libs/[libpcre.a libpcrecpp.a]. If you're using Mac OS X Tiger, the configure command needs to be tweaked slightly to generate a universal binary.

CXXFLAGS="-O2 -arch i386 -arch ppc -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk" \
CFLAGS="-O2 -arch i386 -arch ppc -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk" \
LDFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch ppc -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk" \
../configure --disable-dependency-tracking

This information was taken from here.


Download PCRE 7.6 and open a shell.

mkdir <pcre>/mingwBuild && cd <pcre>/mingwBuild
CPPFLAGS=-DPCRE_STATIC ../configure --enable-rebuilt-chartables --disable-dependency-tracking

The output is <pcre>/mingwBuild/.libs/[libpcre.a libpcrecpp.a].


Download and extract PCRE. Copy the entire "ps3" directory from <dom-path>/external-libs/pcre/build to the pcre folder you downloaded. Open a shell and go to the pcre/ps3 directory and run "make".

Boost Filesystem

The Boost filesystem library is used in the DOM automated tests and in the DOM itself to handle temporary files created for ZAE archives (since SVN revison 637). The DOM ships with Boost 1.35. Starting with Boost 1.35 the Filesystem library depends on the System library, so the DOM also needs Boost System.

Visual Studio

Boost filesystem requires both a debug and release lib for proper use in the DOM. Since we want to disable debug info in the debug build, we can't use the normal lib files provided by the Boost Windows installer.

Instead, download and extract the Boost 1.35 source. Copy the "vc8" folder from <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/system to <boost>/libs/system/build, and also copy the vc8 folder from <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/filesystem to <boost>/libs/filesystem/build. Open the System solution and build both debug and release, then do the same for Filesystem.

The Boost libs don't play nicely with other versions of Visual Studio, so you'll need separate builds for each version of VS you want to support. To build a library for VC9, run the DOM's script to generate VC9 project files.

cd <dom>/external-libs/boost/build
python ../../../../projects/ system/vc8 system/vc9
python ../../../../projects/ filesystem/vc8 filesystem/vc9

Then repeat the process described above for building with VC8.


It's expected that your distro will provide suitable boost filesystem development files. Otherwise, Boost comes with documentation that explains how to build on Linux.


On Mac, we need a universal binary, so the Boost build system has to be tweaked somewhat. Download the Boost 1.35 source and open a terminal.

cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/system/Makefile <boost>/libs/system/build
cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/filesystem/Makefile <boost>/libs/filesystem/build
make -C <boost>/libs/system/build
make -C <boost>/libs/filesystem/build


Download the Boost 1.35 source, then download the Boost Jam binaries (ntx86) and extract to <boost>. Open a terminal.

cd <boost>
./bjam --build-dir=mingwBuild --toolset=gcc --with-filesystem link=static stage

The output is in the mingwBuild folder. We want libboost_system-mgw34-mt-1_35.lib and libboost_filesystem-mgw34-mt-1_35.lib. Rename them to libboost_system.a and libboost_filesystem.a.


Download the Boost 1.35 source and open a terminal.

cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/system/Makefile <boost>/libs/system/build
cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/filesystem/Makefile <boost>/libs/filesystem/build
cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/system/error_code.cpp <boost>/libs/system/src
cp <dom>/external-libs/boost/build/filesystem/operations.cpp <boost>/libs/system/src
make -C <boost>/libs/system/build platform=ps3
make -C <boost>/libs/filesystem/build platform=ps3


Since SVN revison 637 minizip is used to extract ZAE archives. Minizip is included in the zlib source distribution. Additional information is available on the minizip webpage.

Visual Studio

As we use libxml with zlib support and that zlib build does not include minizip I added a minizip dependency. To build it on your own follow these steps:

  • Create new VS project
  • Add .c and .h files from zlib123\contrib\minizip (except minizip.c and miniunz.c)
  • Add zlib123 to include path
  • Set C/C++ -> Optimization -> "Whole Program Optimization" to No. This avoids a linker warning.


Neither Redhat nor Debian provide minizip packages. So I included it's source in external-libs/minizip/src. It can be built with: make project=minizip. You can specify other parameters such as colladaVersion or conf as well.