As part of my research, I write a lot of Python and MATLAB code that never needs to be distributed to anyone else. Even if I need to distribute my software, Python and MATLAB, both being interpreted, make sharing it relatively simple.
Now I am writing some software in C++ that I'd like to distribute. I have a handle on how to compile the software on my own machine, but what I don't have an understanding of is what needs to be done in order to give other people the software.
First, more about my project: I'm writing some code to compute and display visualizations. The project is graph-based, and so I am using the LEMON graph library. I'm exploring VTK and OpenGL implementations for the purpose of displaying the visualization. I'd like to write Python and MATLAB bindings for users of those environments to be able to use my software, and I'd like to produce Windows and Linux versions (I haven't thought about OS X yet...).
So, let's take the LEMON graph library as an example. It is a bunch of headers along with a small shared object. On my development system, I compile the library with CMake and link it with my project.
Now say I want to give my software to someone running on Windows. I want them to be able to download an installer, click a button or two, and have everything taken care of. I don't want them to worry about installing the LEMON library, or OpenGL. They shouldn't have to knowingly compile anything. Is this possible?
I have a feeling it is, but I come up short when searching for references. I have a vague idea that if I compile a binary on Windows I should be able to distribute that binary to anyone running a Windows OS. But what about the libraries I use? I'm guessing I need to statically link them on Windows, and that will take care of the dependency issue there. But in the back of my mind I have read that statically linking is not good practice (or is this just on Linux?)
As you can tell, I'm somewhat lost. I'd appreciate a nudge in the right direction, and some references to read if you happen to know of any!