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Bazel
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Bazel vs Xcode: What are the differences?

What is Bazel? Correct, reproducible, fast builds for everyone. Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment.

What is Xcode? The complete toolset for building great apps. The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Bazel can be classified as a tool in the "Java Build Tools" category, while Xcode is grouped under "Integrated Development Environment".

Some of the features offered by Bazel are:

  • Multi-language support: Bazel supports Java, Objective-C and C++ out of the box, and can be extended to support arbitrary programming languages.
  • High-level build language: Projects are described in the BUILD language, a concise text format that describes a project as sets of small interconnected libraries, binaries and tests. By contrast, with tools like Make you have to describe individual files and compiler invocations.
  • Multi-platform support: The same tool and the same BUILD files can be used to build software for different architectures, and even different platforms. At Google, we use Bazel to build both server applications running on systems in our data centers and client apps running on mobile phones.

On the other hand, Xcode provides the following key features:

  • Source Editor
  • Assistant Editor
  • Asset Catalog

"Fast" is the top reason why over 18 developers like Bazel, while over 127 developers mention "IOS Development" as the leading cause for choosing Xcode.

Bazel is an open source tool with 12.4K GitHub stars and 2.02K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Bazel's open source repository on GitHub.

Pinterest, Instacart, and Lyft are some of the popular companies that use Xcode, whereas Bazel is used by Google, Asana, and Square. Xcode has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1051 company stacks & 603 developers stacks; compared to Bazel, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Bazel?

Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment.

What is Xcode?

The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
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What are some alternatives to Bazel and Xcode?
Pants
Pants is a build system for Java, Scala and Python. It works particularly well for a source code repository that contains many distinct projects.
Webpack
A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.
Buck
Buck encourages the creation of small, reusable modules consisting of code and resources, and supports a variety of languages on many platforms.
Ansible
Ansible is an IT automation tool. It can configure systems, deploy software, and orchestrate more advanced IT tasks such as continuous deployments or zero downtime rolling updates. Ansible’s goals are foremost those of simplicity and maximum ease of use.
CMake
It is used to control the software compilation process using simple platform and compiler independent configuration files, and generate native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of the user's choice.
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Decisions about Bazel and Xcode
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How developers use Bazel and Xcode
Avatar of Ryan VanBelkum
Ryan VanBelkum uses XcodeXcode

Even though React Native takes care of most of the heavy lifting, there are still some cases where we need xcode. These cases include app icon integration, mobile deployments, loading screens, ect...

Avatar of Refractal
Refractal uses XcodeXcode

Xcode is our primary development platform for iOS applications, with a very fully featured set of dev tools for the platform. For everything else, there's Sublime Text 3.

Avatar of Nick De Cooman
Nick De Cooman uses XcodeXcode

Experience with Xcode in the context of iOS development. This includes Storyboards, Debugging tools and the Simulator.

Avatar of Ujjwal Bhujel
Ujjwal Bhujel uses XcodeXcode

QA and Testing have been so much easier with the help of its simulators on Apple Devices like; iPhones and iPads.

Avatar of Promethean TV
Promethean TV uses XcodeXcode

PrometheanTV provides SDKs for IOS devices and utilizes the XCode IDE for development and testing purposes.

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