Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Last word in .NET build systems

Has not been said yet, I do not think.

In the F# world you may be looking at:

I am not going to do a detailed pro/con analysis of these just yet, but note that every one of them is currently missing abstractions relevant for this problem domain - building. A build system should allow you to do at least what veritable Makefile does - optimal rebuilds, but at an abstract level, as a library.

The best system I have seen so far that gives you these abstractions is Shake by Neil Mitchell (coded in Haskell). It goes beyond Makefiles by allowing dynamic dependencies. I did not study the specifics very closely, but the overall design is vastly useful, brilliant.

Do not have time at this moment to get it into the shape it deserves, but here is some work I have been drafting now and then to build a similar library in F#: fshake. If this scratches an itch, let me know, I would be interested in contributors - I have not put the license in yet, but this project will be under Apache license.

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