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Improving BioDynaMo build system

Giovanni De Toni

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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;When developing new programs or scientific libraries most of the efforts are focused on providing&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
efficient algorithms, the state-of-the-art techniques and maximum flexibility. However, in order for a&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
new project to be effective, one of the top priorities must be how the final user will obtain our&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Sure enough, the first approach of the users usually is how to build/install the provided software. If&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
the necessary steps/prerequisites to install the project are missing or not working, then we will lose a&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
possible new user (or even many more). This happens especially if we are targeting users who are&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
not experienced with DevOps operations (e.g. how to develop software and which tools are needed).&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
For this purpose, the documentation must also be clear and concise, it has to provide code examples&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
and possible use cases and it has to state clearly the installation procedure. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
This report details the work on the BioDynaMo project (a biological large-scale simulator) which&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
targeted their entire build and testing system. The project was about improving the previous&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
automatic build procedure to increase usability and to provide a more maintainable codebase. The&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
updates targeted the mechanism which takes care of installing the required packages and the&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
complete build process, such to make the operations more robust and flexible for the final users. &amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
Some final conclusions were drawn from this experience to be useful to define future refactoring&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
processes. Moreover, future works and improvements are also discussed which can be used to&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
direct the next development steps of BioDynaMo. &amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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