Subsidiary SConscript files make it easy to create a build hierarchy because all of the file and directory names in a subsidiary SConscript files are interpreted relative to the directory in which the SConscript file lives. Typically, this allows the SConscript file containing the instructions to build a target file to live in the same directory as the source files from which the target will be built, making it easy to update how the software is built whenever files are added or deleted (or other changes are made).
For example, suppose we want to build two programs prog1 and prog2 in two separate directories with the same names as the programs. One typical way to do this would be with a top-level SConstruct file like this:
And subsidiary SConscript files that look like this:
env = Environment() env.Program('prog1', ['main.c', 'foo1.c', 'foo2.c'])
env = Environment() env.Program('prog2', ['main.c', 'bar1.c', 'bar2.c'])
Then, when we run SCons in the top-level directory, our build looks like:
% scons -Q cc -o prog1/foo1.o -c prog1/foo1.c cc -o prog1/foo2.o -c prog1/foo2.c cc -o prog1/main.o -c prog1/main.c cc -o prog1/prog1 prog1/main.o prog1/foo1.o prog1/foo2.o cc -o prog2/bar1.o -c prog2/bar1.c cc -o prog2/bar2.o -c prog2/bar2.c cc -o prog2/main.o -c prog2/main.c cc -o prog2/prog2 prog2/main.o prog2/bar1.o prog2/bar2.o
Notice the following: First, you can have files with the same names in multiple directories, like main.c in the above example. Second, unlike standard recursive use of Make, SCons stays in the top-level directory (where the SConstruct file lives) and issues commands that use the path names from the top-level directory to the target and source files within the hierarchy.