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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ship It! - 2.3 Script Your Build

You have a problem if you do anything by hand in your build or packaging process.  Humans forget steps and lose focus - machines don't.

Tip 4: Script builds on day one

Tip 5: Any machine can be a build machine

How Do I Get Started?
  • have a team member manually build the system while you take notes
  • define the individual steps
  • pick a build tool
  • incrementally script each step eliminating manual operations one by one
  • run the script on another workstation
  • have another team member use the script without your help

You should be able to build your entire product:
  • with one command
  • from SCM
  • on any team member's machine
  • with no external environmental requirements, such as network drives
In Java, Ant is the defacto build tool but it can get messy pretty quickly.  Crafting if-then-else logic using XML constructs isn't pretty.  I'm glad to see tools like Gradle gaining some traction.

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