Introducing Buildr

8 05 2007

Assaf Arkin: “That, in a nutshell, is how we went from the deeps of frustration to a build system that … hold on a second … is actually fun to use. And dead easy to customize. And works repeatedly.”

I don’t hate Maven with the same passion as Assaf has, but that’s probably only I haven’t yet used Maven in anger for a big project. My latest big project started with Maven, but moved quickly to Ant+Ivy.

Still, Ant is not at all fun to use. I find most of our Ant scripts unreadable (pointy brackets don’t help) and the maze of includes that were put in place to provide some kind of code reuse too confusing and impossible to debug.

Mind you, this is not an indictment of the fine people who wrote those scripts. They did the best job possible, given the limitations of the tool.

Anyway, neither Ant nor Maven seem to be any fun to use, so I’d welcome anything that promises to bring back some fun to the process. We all know that writing stuff in Ruby can be fun—again—but my worry is that adopting a build system that nobody else uses is bound to give you problems, like not being able to find people who are already expert with your tool of choice.

However, if nobody ever tried anything different, we’d be stuck with make, I think.

(Via Tim Bray.)

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One response

8 05 2007
Anders Bengtsson

I don’t think we’ll have to worry about nobody else using it. There are lots of people hating their build systems all over the world and a lot of us can’t wait to start trying this stuff out.

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