I was listening to a recent CppCast podcast episode where the guest, Eberhard Gräther, described the software he built: “Sourcetrail, a cross-platform source explorer for faster understanding of unfamiliar source code”.

The visualization feature of Sourcetrail caught my attention as I enjoy using a similar call graph feature in Doxygen.

I downloaded Sourcetrail. Sourcetrail relies on a compile_commands.json file to automatically identify all the source files that need to be indexed. This file can be exported with CMake but Bitcoin uses Autotools for its build system. After attempting a number of different solutions1 the resulting compile_commands.json only included 9 source files. If you’re able to do better with an automated tool, let me know! Instead I manually set up Sourcetrail:

Sourcetrail setup:

  1. Open Sourcetrail
  2. Click the New Project button
  3. Sourcetrail Project Name can be anything, I used bitcoin
  4. Sourcetrail Project Location can be anywhere, I used ~/src/sourcetrail/
  5. Click the Add Source Group button
  6. Click the Empty C++ Source Group and Next buttons
  7. Change the C++ Standard to c++11 and click Next
  8. In Files & Directories to Index add your bitcoin/src directory and click Next
  9. Exclude bitcoin/src/leveldb
  10. Click auto-detect and Start for Include Paths, click the pencil icon and paste in the following (if you don’t know what version to use, search in bitcoin/Makefile after running ./autogen.sh && ./configure):
  11. Click detect for Global Include Paths and the Next button
  12. For Global Framework Search Paths click the detect button and Save
  13. No compiler flags, click Next
  14. Click Create
  15. Click Start for the indexing

All done!

footnote 1. Build and install Bear or scan-build. On macOS they do not work with the default make due to a system security policy. To work around this, brew install make && pip install scan-build and run PATH="/usr/local/opt/make/libexec/gnubin:$PATH" && ./autogen.sh && ./configure && gmake clean && intercept-build --override-compiler --append gmake -j8 in your bitcoin directory.